Published on : Thursday, November 7, 2013
Fans in search of a spectacular new Middle-earth experience can now take a tour through the farm location that Sir Peter Jackson used to depict Trollshaws Forest in the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Tour operator Hairy Feet Waitomo – based in the small farming town of Piopio in the Waikato region of the North Island – hosts visitors on a 90-minute guided van tour around the towering Mangaotaki Rocks on private land that was once frequented by 13 dwarfs and a hobbit.
The 690-hectare farm-cum scenic film location was used to film various scenes in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
The area was transformed into Trollshaws Forest, the area where Gandalf bestows the mighty ‘Sting’ Bilbo. Radagast’s arrival and the attack of the Wargs and Orcs were also shot there. One part of the track meanders through the site where the Company arrive at destroyed farm house, Staddles Farm.
Piece of Middle-earth
Hairy Feet Waitomo is a new venture for resident famers and landowners, Warrick and Suzie Denize, who have left the tending of their southern King Country farm in family hands while visitors and Tolkien fans are guided through their personal piece of Middle-earth.
Limited to a maximum of nine people on each tour, Hairy Feet Waitomo gives visitors an up-close encounter with some of the film locations, along with personal stories and anecdotes about the actors and making of the film as experienced by the Denize family.
New Zealand’s newest Hobbit-inspired venture is the culmination of months of hard work for the farmers. Two walking tracks were hand-cut into the ground by Suzie, allowing visitors to comfortably walk the same footsteps of the actors around the areas used in the film.
Warrick and Suzie are the third generation of the Denize family to farm the land since it was purchased in 1941. They raise sheep and cattle on green pastures dominated by the looming backdrop of Mangatoaki Rocks – spectacular limestone cliffs that traverse the edge of the property and rise to 80 metres at the highest point.
Unusual smaller rock formations nestled in New Zealand native bush filled with song birds complete the feeling of stepping back in time and into Middle-earth.
Small town Piopio
Hairy Feet Waitomo is based in Piopio, a quaint North Island village that is within easy reach of the ocean, mountains and outdoor adventure options such as caving, surfing, walking and mountain-biking.
Piopio is just south of the famed Waitomo Caves and north of Taranaki’s west coast surf beaches and iconic Mt Taranaki – a near perfect volcanic cone popular with walkers and mountaineers. The region is also a favourite destination for garden visits and mountain-biking.
Close by, Waitomo Caves is one of New Zealand’s most visited natural attractions – an extensive subterranean system of magnificent limestone caverns, swift flowing underground streams and natural lighting provided by millions of glowworms.
Visitors to Waitomo can choose from a variety of activities from gliding across the water by boat to walking, black water rafting, tubing or abseiling through the caves.
Hairy Feet Waitomo has opened just in time for the highly anticipated release of the second movie in The HobbitTrilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on 13 December.
This new venture adds to the already highly successful The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit Trilogy adventures throughout New Zealand’s North and South Islands, and is set to send the Denize family off on their own ‘unexpected journey’.
Background: Hairy Feet Waitomo – Tour information
• Tours run twice daily at 10am & 1pm
• Tours are personally guided by owners, Suzie & Warrick Denize
• Each tour group is limited to a maximum of 9 people
• Walking tracks are well formed gravel tracks over slightly uneven ground
• Tours run in all weather and every day except Christmas Day / 25 December
Source:- Tourism New Zealand
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