Yesterday I visited Hobbiton near Matamata, a pretty town in the Waikato region of New Zealand.
Hobbiton probably needs no introduction because, as I discovered, it is still wildly popular. Tours were setting off every 10 minutes the day we were there and some of the more popular tours with food included were booked out months in advance.
My travel buddy got the last two tickets to a lunch-included tour a month ago because the tour which included an evening ''banquet' was book out. (Yes, she is doing nothing by halves and I am swept along for the ride, which I confess to finding very interesting, if just to experience the enthusiasm of the fans. ) I was rather afraid the food might be substandard bain-marie fare, but it was very tasty.
A friend who majored in sculpture at art school spent time in Matamata last year painting the hobbit house doors and props and I must say she's done a fine job. They look just as they did in the Hobbit movie.