Dreams come true for Hobbit fans
There were audible gasps, tears and one person even suffered a nosebleed this week, as 150 of the most dedicated Lord of the Rings fans arrived at the scene of several parts of the LOTR and Hobbit films.
The group was made up of 75 fans of the JRR Tolkien books who’d entered and won a competition to visit New Zealand – and each brought a friend along for the ride.
The nosebleed suffered by one fan may not have been as a result of finally catching sight of the set for Hobbiton in Matamata, but it reflected how the group was in awe at finally reaching the destination after journeys from all around the world.
The 75 winners had each entered an online competition as part of a week-long Tourism New Zealand tour which aimed to showcase the films’ locations.
As well as the fans a number of foreign journalists were also present to see the stunning sights on offer in New Zealand and report back to readers in their home countries.
The group is set to enjoy New Zealand coach tours just like the ones offered by Distant Journeys as part of their prize.
Mexican Liz Garcia was one of the members of the group who shed tears upon reaching ‘Hobbiton’.
“It’s a dream come true for me,” she said. “I’m an enormous fan and I can’t believe I’ve finally been able to see the Shire for myself.”
While the group are set to take in many of New Zealand’s stunning natural landscape she highlight of the tour for most is likely to be the final day, when they’ll get the chance to watch The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies ahead of its official release.