There’s plenty for fans of Peter Jack­son’s Lord of the Rings and Hob­bit movies to see and do in the Waikato.

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IIf the Shire is at the heart of Mid­dle Earth, then the Hamil­ton and Waikato re­gion is at the heart of the Shire.

When scout­ing around for lo­ca­tions for his epic three movie adap­ta­tion of J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hob­bit, Kiwi di­rec­tor Peter Jack­son found just what he was look­ing for in the green rolling pad­docks, rugged lime­stone out­crops and un­der­ground cav­erns of the Hamil­ton and Waikato re­gion.

The bu­colic set­ting for the Shire, home of the Hob­bits, in­clud­ing Bag End and The Party Tree stand­ing ma­jes­ti­cally over the lake, was nes­tled on a sheep farm near the Waikato town of Mata­mata, just wait­ing for Sir Peter Jack­son’s mag­i­cal di­rec­tor’s touch.

My group of friends had all agreed on a Mid­dle Earth themed get­away, and af­ter spend­ing the day ex­plor­ing Hamil­ton City

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