Feasting at Hobbiton – Evening Banquet Tour

Let’s get into it – The Evening Banquet Tour includes a tour of Hobbiton Movie Set and costs $190 for an adult. Our tour started at 4.30pm from Shires Rest Cafe where we boarded a bus to Hobbiton. Our guide Belinda then took us on a guided tour through the magical Shire.

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour - I want to live here

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour – I want to live here

We arrived at The Green Dragon Inn around 6pm, chose our complimentary beverage, then waited for the big feast reveal at 6.30pm.

The Green Dragon Inn from afar (photo taken during the day)

The Green Dragon Inn from afar (photo taken during the day)

The curtains were parted to show a table laden with food – beef and ale stew with dumplings, salmon, duck, a whole chicken, a pan of sausages, mushrooms, broccoli, roast vegetables, salads and rolls. The food was good and there was plenty enough for a first and second dinner for those so inclined.

The feast - Evening Banquet Tour at Hobbiton

The feast – Evening Banquet Tour at Hobbiton

The feast - Evening Banquet Tour at Hobbiton

The feast – Evening Banquet Tour at Hobbiton

The table settings looked as good as the food, each wooden table was set with pottery plates, tumblers and serving dishes. Each table also had a centre piece of candles, flowers, small wooden barrels, and on our table, a book about fly fishing.

Table centrepiece

There is time to walk around The Green Dragon before dinner, but between dinner and dessert while everyone is chatting around the banquet tables is a quiet time to walk around and get a good look. It’s such a welcoming building full of natural colour tones, and there are two blazing fires to sit around, it would be a cozy local.

The Green Dragon Inn at Hobbiton

The Green Dragon Inn at Hobbiton

Three years ago we did a day tour of Hobbiton Movie Set and because we liked The Green Dragon Inn so much it got its own blog post, so there are plenty more photos to see if you follow the links.

The Green Dragon Inn

The Green Dragon Inn

There is a lot of attention to detail at The Green Dragon and the decor carries through to the toilets …..

Toilets at The Green Dragon Inn

Toilets at The Green Dragon Inn

If there was anything slightly disappointing about the evening banquet it was dessert. After the feast set in front of us for dinner, our expectations were high, but the dessert board lacked colour and didn’t seem enough of a selection for the number of people sharing it. Still, we didn’t go home hungry.

Dessert - Evening Banquet Tour at Hobbiton

Dessert – Evening Banquet Tour at Hobbiton

The dessert board included trifle, baked apples, fruit tarts, pannacotta, ice cream and what I think was chocolate and liquorice in filo pastry. (You can help yourself to tea and coffee, there are flagons of water on the tables, your first beer, cider or ginger beer is complimentary, after that it’s around $7 a drink).

Pick up a lantern and walk to the Party Field

Pick up a lantern and walk to the Party Field

After dinner it was time to pick up a lantern and walk to the Party Field via some lakeside hobbit houses. (I point and click with a camera, a tripod and knowledge will get you better shots in the dark).

Night shot at Hobbiton

Night shot at Hobbiton

Down on the field our excellent hosts and guides Belinda and Sonny got us dancing to end the evening, shortly after it was time to say goodbye to Hobbiton. The last words go to a woman I overheard as we left The Shire, she said .. … ‘it’s the best $190 I’ve spent in New Zealand’. (See tips below)

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

Tips
We recommend The Evening Banquet Tour for diehard fans of the movies because your experience lasts four – five hours, you need to book well in advance though. (Cost – adults 17+ $190, 9-16 years $150, 5-8 years $100, up to 4 years free with a paying adult).

Take a tripod for night photography (tours depart at different times in winter and summer, we did the tour in April so it was dark when we left The Green Dragon, if you do a tour in summer it will probably still be light).

Dress warmly if you do a tour in the winter months, umbrellas are provided if it rains. Wear flat, comfortable shoes, the tracks may be muddy after heavy rain.

Bring cash if you want more than one drink at The Green Dragon Inn.

If you want to visit the gift shop you need to go before your tour departs as the gift shop is open 8.30am – 5.30pm (hours are extended during summer).

You can get your photo taken in the doorway of a hobbit house (guides double as willing photographers), so dress up if you’d like to, everyone will love it if you do.

If you missed the links above, we did a Hobbiton Movie Set Tour during the day in 2014 so there are more photos and information here – Hobbiton Movie Set Tour and The Green Dragon Inn.

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

4 thoughts on “Feasting at Hobbiton – Evening Banquet Tour

  1. Hi,
    It seems a big price hike for a meal. Would you say it was worth it? Im super keen to go to hobbiton but dunno if i should just stick to the normal tour

    • Hi Anna
      That’s a tricky question to answer because everyone will have their own opinions, but short answer from me is Yes. For a few reasons – it’s likely visiting Hobbiton is something people will only do once, so for many, paying the extra money to do the whole experience will be worth it. The Green Dragon Inn is so worth visiting, but if you do a day tour your time in there is limited because there are other tour groups following behind, so you need to move on, but if you do the Evening Banquet Tour you get lots more time to enjoy the setting. Evening Banquet Tours are the last tours through Hobbiton for the day so it’s likely you’ll have more time to look around and take photos than you would if you do a day tour which could be more rushed. We also enjoyed sitting around the communal table and chatting to other people at the banquet and I left feeling like we’d had more of an experience rather than just taken a tour.

      Whatever you decide, I hope you enjoy your visit.

  2. Is there still a lot of people at Hobbiton at this time? I did the tour thru Intercity and didn’t really enjoy it as there were loads of people. not much free time to explore.

    • Hi Karina
      That’s a shame, Hobbiton is popular, we were surprised in 2014 with how many people were doing tours, and visitor numbers would have only increased since then.

      The night tours are run similarly to the day tours, we were split into two groups and were encouraged to stay with the group so there’s not really a chance to go off by yourself and look around. We were the last tour through for the day though so it didn’t feel rushed and everyone was able to take the photos they wanted to. (The two groups met at The Green Dragon after touring through the movie set and we all had the banquet together).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *