If you fancy a travel bargain with a bucket load of character, then Hobbiton has a sweet deal for you.
A rustic Millhouse cottage set amongst the media eval site of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie sets in rural Matamata can be all yours for only $10 a night. There’s a catch, of course, but more on that later.
On site a chorus of croaking frogs sings visitors in from a nearby pond while the plush hilly farmland provides the site’s bucolic backdrop.
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Approaching the front entrance to The Millhouse cabin, the instant smell of wood smoke from a cozy fire greets new arrivals.
The curved doorways open into a humble sitting room, decked out with lots of wood and authentic Hobbiton decorations.
Russell Alexander’s family farm on Matamata’s rolling fields was what first captured the attention of location scouts over 20 years ago. The site is renowned around the world for being the Hobbiton movie set.
Now the founder and CEO of the site is opening his arms and his farm to a few lucky people.
The public has been offered an exclusive chance to spend two nights at The Millhouse for a once in a lifetime experience.
It’s to mark a decade since the first film from the trio of Hobbit movies was released.
“It’s what we’ve grown from scratch, so there’s an enormous amount of effort and pride obviously in what we’ve built here,” Alexander said.
“It’s the tenth anniversary of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, so obviously we wanted to celebrate the tenth anniversary, the whole journey here itself has been an unexpected journey.”
Whether it’s the gold ring on the writing desk, a silver sword by the fireplace or the outlined map on the mantel piece, ‘Easter eggs’ from The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies have been placed all around the interior of the cottage.
Each bedroom, featuring circular windows, vintage furniture and low ceilings, encourages its guests to live and breathe like a hobbit would.
The neighboring Hobbit hole dwellings are a stone’s throw away with their circular painted doors, surrounded by pitched wooden fences, wild gardens and Hobbit clothing dangling from the washing line.
The Alexander family and Hobbiton movie set have partnered with Airbnb to offer three separate stays at the newly furnished accommodation during March 2023 for just $10 a night.
An Airbnb spokesperson at the Hobbiton movie set on Wednesday said they were offering more listings for unique character stays like Hobbiton that attracted people with a liking for film, television and pop culture.
But there was really nothing like Hobbiton, and they were eager and excited for the lucky guests to arrive.
“Hobbiton obviously is such an iconic location, it’s so important and beloved by so many New Zealanders and crucial for New Zealand’s economy and tourism.”
“It makes sense for Airbnb because we want to work with great destinations and great hosts.”
For Alexander, hosting guests at his home was about giving them the opportunity to experience the authentic and special place that is Hobbiton, just like he has over the decades.
He was looking forward to welcoming the three lucky groups to The Millhouse next year.
“We are passionate about what we’ve built and what we’ve achieved, and it’s created an amazing journey,” said Alexander.
“I don’t feel it’s a job, like a normal job, that’s because it’s your passion and the passion is driven by a desire to give people great experiences.”
Reservations for the Hobbiton film set will be available from 10am December 14. First in, first served.