With Hairy Feet into Trollshaw Forest

New Zealand: The HobbitWith Hairy Feet into Trollshaw Forest

Experience

Back in spring 2010, on New Zealand's wettest day on record, Suzie and Warrick Denize had a most unlikely visitor. The man at the door introduced himself as Jared Connon and asked if he could have a look around the property. Turns out that he was Peter Jackson's location manager on the Hobbit trilogy.

It was the towering limestone bluffs above the Denize farm that initially attracted Jared to the site.

It was the towering limestone bluffs above the Denize farm that initially attracted Jared to the site.

Peter Jackson approved and one year later, 500 cast and crew descended on the location for a week, turning the idyllic farmland into a bustling film set.

The location during filming. 

The location during filming. 

Suzie and Warrick helped wherever they could and they had a blast on set (so did their sons Matthew and Peter). It had always been their dream to showcase the beauty of this landscape to visitors and the filming gave them the final impetus to start up a location tour.

The tours are guided only and run twice a day - at 10am and 1pm. It's advisable to book ahead during the main season (December through to February).

Host

Meet Suzie and Warrick Denize. In 1941, Warrick's grandparents moved to the small settlement of Piopio to establish a sheep and cattle farm. Three generations later, the farm is still in operation but Warrick's main focus is his plumbing business, while Suzie has taken on the responsibility of running the location tours.

 

Videos

This video has some interesting footage about the shooting of the Hobbit on location. The Trollshaw Forest features from 0:46.

 

 

Map

The address of the tour office / start of the tour is 1411 Mangaotaki Road, RD 1, Piopio 3971.

Review

Stefan joined one of Suzie's tours into Trollshaw Forest in January 2018.

An immersive location tour always comes down to one thing: the passion of the guide. Suzie's enthusiasm is infectious and what is more, she can tell you all sorts of insider stories that happened during filming.

Suzie running us through the scene outside the Troll cave.

Suzie running us through the scene outside the Troll cave.

The variety of locations on the property is incredible, and Peter Jackson certainly made the most of the different settings that were available to him.

Bilbo, Gandalf and the dwarves arrive at an abandoned farmhouse where they set up camp for the night.

Bilbo, Gandalf and the dwarves arrive at an abandoned farmhouse where they set up camp for the night.

Gandalf and Thorin Oakenshield are having a fall-out.

Gandalf and Thorin Oakenshield are having a fall-out.

The trolls Bert, William and Tom have just thrown a couple of dwarfs on the barbie when an unvited visitor turns up. 

The trolls Bert, William and Tom have just thrown a couple of dwarfs on the barbie when an unvited visitor turns up. 

Gandalf splits a big rock with his staff, letting the first rays of the sun fall onto the scene - and turning the trolls into stone.

Gandalf splits a big rock with his staff, letting the first rays of the sun fall onto the scene - and turning the trolls into stone.

A considerable number of additional scenes were filmed in the forested section of the property.

A pivotal moment: Bilbo takes possession of the magic sword 'Sting'.

A pivotal moment: Bilbo takes possession of the magic sword 'Sting'.

In case you need more proof that Bilbo was really here, look what we found when we passed the cave.

In the forest beyond the troll cave... 

In the forest beyond the troll cave... 

... the wizard Radagast arrives, bringing bad news about a shadow of an ancient horror that has risen again. 

... the wizard Radagast arrives, bringing bad news about a shadow of an ancient horror that has risen again. 

The following Warg attack also plays out here, partly in the forest and partly in the open terrain underneath the bluff. After indulging in all this Middle Earth lore, it was time to head back out and have a cold drink in the lovely rest area that Suzie and Warrick have set up.

Contact

Give Suzie a yell on +64 7 877 8003 or via [email protected]

www.hairyfeetwaitomo.co.nz

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