Ok so here’s the promised update after my first stops on the road trip. I drove up the west coast of the island stopping at The Three Sisters and the Elephant, then out at the beach in Awakino. Those are some crazy windy roads like the paraparas. Awakino is where the highway turns away from the coastline and starts going towards the center of the island. But that was last blog. Now that you’re all caught up, onto…
Ladies and gentleman, I have found a hidden Hobbit treasure here in New Zealand that ISN’T Hobbiton. Just south of Waitomo is a town called Piopio. I stopped for gas there because I was running low and Waitomo was only 20 minutes down the road. When I was sitting in my car looking through my map, I happened to see a sign that said “HOBBIT FILMING LOCATION 14KM”. I thought, hmm, I’m nowhere near Matamata so would this be worth it. If we’re being honest, I spent a good 10 minutes debating it. But you know me, I went for it anyway. I turn down the road and followed the one lone sign to a place in the hills called Hairy Feet Waitomo. I wasn’t sure what I should expect when I met the owners of the farm, Suzie and Warwick… but this is quite possibly the great hidden find on my road trip. I found the location of the troll scene and warg fight!! This farm also has the most on screen time than any other location. Plus, it was lambing season so there were thousands of babies running around *cue awes :)*
After a 6 minute video presentation about the construction that went on around the still working farm, Suzie took me (I was the only one) out in the farm van and up the hills. As she was there during the original scouting, on set with Peter Jackson and the actors, and this has been her home for so long, she had so much information. I’m definitely taking my host family back here!! She had a folder of reference shots and we took a ton of pictures. When we got to the troll cave, guess what was hidden under some leaves? Sting!! We went full shocked/confused Bilbo in those pictures. I was even treated to a history lesson because of the amount of fossils still visible in the stones surround the farm.
I do have to say the three main highlights for me were:
Finding Thorin’s place of brooding (which I of course tried to imitate)
Uncovering the exactly spot Martin Freeman stood as Bilbo in the Radagast scene. The crew accidentally left behind the marker and Warwick screwed it down.
Then we did our own version of LARPing or a photoshoot. Which ever you prefer…
If you’re ever in the area, definitely go here!! It’s the best half day ever!!
Up next is the Black Water Rafting 🙂