Entertainment

Hobbiton pub is officially open for business

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key toasts the cast of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at The Green Dragon pub in Hobbiton.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key toasts the cast of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at The Green Dragon pub in Hobbiton. Seanna Cronin

HOBBIT fans can now drink at the tables where Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin once sat.

The Green Dragon at Hobbiton was officially opened by New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key in a ribbon cutting ceremony today.

But instead of a ribbon, Mr Key found himself cutting a chain with bolt cutters.

New Zealand PM John Key opens the new Green Dragon pub at Hobbiton.
New Zealand PM John Key opens the new Green Dragon pub at Hobbiton. Seanna Cronin

 

The working pub is the newest addition to the tourist attraction, which has been open to the public since 2002.

Hobbiton manager Russell Alexander said he estimated the release of the new Hobbit film would help bring in 100,000 visitors over the next 12 months.

The site, which celebrates its 10th anniversary on Sunday, has been visited by an estimated 300,000 people over the past decade.

Russell's father Ian was approached by Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema in 1998 about filming in the rolling hills of their farm, which has sheep and Angus cattle.

"I don't think anyone could believe that it would get to this scale," he said.

Hobbiton was rebuilt over five weeks to film The Hobbit trilogy and was expanded to include 44 "hobbit holes" or homes, which feature the iconic circular doors made famous in the Lord of the Rings films.

All of the actors who play the dwarves in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, except for Richard Armitage, were also on hand to share a pint with Mr Key and visiting media.

Hobbiton Board director and former Tourism New Zealand boss George Hickton said there were more opportunities to expand the Hobbit experience, with long-term options possibly including overnight stays in the hobbit holes.

The Green Dragon pub at Hobbiton.
The Green Dragon pub at Hobbiton. Seanna Cronin

 

WingNut Films art director and Green Dragon project manager Brian Massey oversaw the construction and detailed decoration carried out by an 80-person crew.

Visitors to Hobbiton will now be able to enjoy a beer, cider or wine at The Green Dragon at the end of their tour.

For more information on Hobbiton movie set tours go to the official website.

Topics:  john key the hobbit: an unexpected journey



Queensland boy lucky to be alive

Lockyer Valley boy Kynan Meara-Fletcher with mum Michelle.

A Lockyer Valley boy has lost his hearing, but is lucky to be alive

Local Partners

Documentary exposes our worst phone habits

THE way we use our smartphones is anything but clever. A shocking number of us are guilty of this very stupid act.

Pippa gets married and then cuts her hair. Typical

Pippa Middleton and James Matthews kiss after their wedding at St Mark's Church in Englefield, England Saturday, May 20, 2017. Middleton, the sister of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge married hedge fund manager James Matthews in a ceremony Saturday where her niece and nephew Prince George and Princess Charlotte was in the wedding party, along with sister Kate and princes Harry and William. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, Pool)

Why do women cut their hair after marriage?

What's on the small screen this week

Tim Ross and Ben Mingay host the new TV series Cannonball.

AUSSIES jump into Cannonball and paranoia takes hold in Samoa.

Kylie Jenner is reportedly pregnant

There are reports 20-year-old Kylie Jenner, the youngest member of the reality show family, is expecting a child with her boyfriend Travis Scott. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP, File)

Is there another addition coming to the Jenner-Kardashian clan?

Quins mum: 'Hey Miranda Kerr, want to wife-swap with me?'

Kim Tucci is a mum of quintuplets

Mum of quintuplets has a hilarious response to Miranda Kerr

Why '90s Hollywood heart-throb disappeared

Wild America co-stars Jonathan Taylor Thomas, 15, Devon Sawa, 18, and Scott Bairstow, 27, pose in New York June 26, 1997.

IN THE late 90s, Casper star Devon Sawa was a teen heart throb.

Wengie now a Powerpuff Girl

Australian YouTube star Wengie  voices the new PowerPuff Girl Bliss.

Aussie makes debut as the fourth Powerpuff Girl