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The Star: June 01, 2017

30 Thursday

30 Thursday June 1 2017 Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi The Star FREE ENTRY Exclusive Deals & Great Shows Cruise Show TRAVEL PRESENTATIONS, AMAZING PRIZES & EXPERT ADVICE DIRECT FROM CRUISE LINE OPERATOR’S Tuesday 13 th June 2017 6.00pm-8.00pm Hoyts Riccarton, Westfield Mall BE INSPIRED BY FABULOUS PRESENTATIONS FROM CRUISE EXPERTS 6.15PM RIVER CRUISING – ASIA 6.45PM SMALL SHIP CRUISING 6.15PM CRUISE THE PACIFIC 6.45PM CRUISE THE BALTICS & SCANDINAVIA 6.15PM CRUISE THE MEDITERRANEAN 6.45PM RIVER CRUISING – EUROPE 7.15PM CRUISE HAWAII 7.15PM CRUISE CROATIA 7.15PM CRUISE ALASKA Come along and discover why Cruise is the perfect holiday choice. Speak to our specialists about tailoring a cruise for you. HOT.CO.NZ BARRINGTON 331 7182 I FERRYMEAD 376 4022 I HIGH ST LANES 339 3440 I HORNBY 344 3070 I MERIVALE 355 2200 NORTHLANDS 352 4578 I ON VICTORIA 365 7687 I RANGIORA 313 0288 I RICCARTON 341 3900 I SHIRLEY 385 0710 UPPER RICCARTON 343 0869

The Star 31 Travel Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Thursday June 1 2017 QUAINT: Fantasy meets reality at Middle Earth. SNUG: Have an ale at the Green Dragon Inn. Hobbiton casts you under a spell • By Mike Yardley MATAMATA’S lush emerald pastures and roly-poly hills are happily home to Hobbiton, the ultimate cinematic shrine for set-jetters in New Zealand. Like a third of all visitors, I have never watched or read an entire story or movie, from either trilogy. But for starry-eyed Tolkien junkies, a journey here has acquired the stature of a pilgrimage. To reach the movie set entails a short drive by bus across the Alexander family’s farmland on a private sealed road, which was built by the New Zealand Army to service the convoy of crew production vehicles and equipment. Sir Peter Jackson sweet-talked the then Prime Minister, Helen Clark, to approve the road’s construction. Alighting from the bus, the bright green grass is long and lush as we trundle down the muddy track to the first hobbit house, where ‘the Hobbiton effect” suddenly washes over me. Unlike so many movie locations, Hobbiton casts you under its spell because it’s exactly the same as it appears on screen. It’s all so sweet and tender, with washing hanging on a line near a chimney poking out of a grassy mound. Baskets are plump with pumpkins, while flowers and herbs have been hung up to dry by a round yellow door. As we walked down a gravelled path, some members of my group frothed with delight, recognising it as the REALISTIC: Hobbiton is exactly the same as it appears on screen. spot where Frodo Baggins greeted Gandalf at the start of The Fellowship of the Ring. And these tingly movie moments just kept on coming, as we strolled around the 44 hobbit houses that are strung around the hillsides, fizzing with excitement being photographed outside Bag End or sitting on the see-saw beneath The Party Tree, where Bilbo held his eleventy-first birthday. I was fully submerged in the fantasy-meets-reality world of Middle Earth. It’s little wonder that 450,000 visitors toured the movie set, last year alone. Winding our way around the hills, the panoramic views reach right across the lake to the stone bridge, the watermill and the Green Dragon Inn, which looked like a life-sized thatched cottage from my grandmother’s Lilliput Lane collection. Sir Peter Jackson’s art director, Brian Massey, ensured everything down to the mugs maintained complete faith with how The Green Dragon Inn was depicted onscreen. A triumph of expert craftsmanship, it’s a charmingly snug and toasty timbered environment, and the crackling open fire was an extra thrill to warm the cockles, on a chilly April day. All the brews are exclusively created by Good George Brewing, in Frankton. Maybe it was the ale, but as I re-boarded the bus to depart, I felt like I was stepping out of a movie. It really doesn’t matter whether you’re a film fanatic or not. The movie set sits on 4.8ha of land and my charming guide, Kate, shared a constant flow of fascinating bite-sized nuggets about Hobbiton. An over-riding theme is the meticulous attention to detail that Jackson demanded. All of the farm’s livestock had to be removed when shooting took place, because they didn’t look English enough. Suffolk sheep, notable for their black faces and legs, were hauled up from the South Island during shooting. Real apple and pear trees were stripped of their and replaced with plastic leaves and plums, even though they only featured for three seconds in the movie. A fake oak tree, created from silicon, was dressed with 200,000 fake leaves. Jackson didn’t like the colour of the leaves, so they were all re-painted by hand, even though the tree was only in shot for 10 seconds. Kate also revealed that moss and lichen was liberally deployed to give the movie-set’s fences a weathered, old look. They created fake moss and lichen by blending woodchips, yoghurt and paint together. As they were during filming, the vegetable patches are still filled with super-sized plants so as the hobbits would look smaller. Technically, it is still an “active set,” and a team from Weta visit every six months to give it a touch up. The hanging clothes were deliberately made to hang on the line for up to two years, before being replaced. A full-time gardening team work daily on maintaining the picturesque appearance of the trees, flowers and lawn. FAST FACTS •Visiting Hobbiton gives you the chance to relish a remarkably tangible piece of living cinema history. Visit www.hobbitontours.com •Treat yourself to a bumper self-drive escape. Thrifty Car Rental offers hot deals, swift service and an excellent fleet in handy locations. Blue Chip members enjoy lightning-fast pick-ups. AA Members can save up to 30 per cent off the all-inclusive rental rates. www.thrifty. co.nz Spend $10 at a participating airport outlet during June for your chance to win.* *For more details, go to eatshopwinatrip.co.nz