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New Zealand Preps for 'The Hobbit' with Tours, Museums, and a Couple of Planes

July 19, 2012 at 5:12 PM | by | ()

Fans of The Hobbit had plenty to be thankful for at San Diego Comic-Con. Of course there was the Hall H panel that included the debut of four full scenes from the films, but fans also got a peek at some of the Hobbit-themed tourist attractions getting ready for the first film's debut later this year.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey doesn't hit theaters until December 14, but the Hobbiton Movie Set Tours are already gearing up for the influx of fans expected to visit Hobbiton this year. The site is just one of over 30 tourist experiences that showcase The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit locations across New Zealand.

The Hobbiton Movie Set Tours is the ultimate for Middle-earth tourists who can see the actual Hobbit holes, Green Dragon Inn, Mill, and other structures used in the upcoming films.

We spoke to Russell Alexander of Hobbiton Movie Set Tours at Comic-Con and he told us that the sets were recreated on his farm for The Hobbit movies and are now permanent sites that fans will be able to tour for years to come. They can also get married or host the ultimate birthday party in Hobbiton as the site can also be rented for special events.

Visits to Hobbiton Movie Set Tours can be booked online at Hobbitontours.com. Prices start at NZ $66 for adults.

In addition to Hobbiton, fan can take a Helicopter Tour of locations used in the movies including stops at off at Mt Olympus and Mt Owen, visit Minas Tirith, Misty Mountains, the Pillars of the Kings (Argonath), on Nomad Safari's Lord of the Rings Tour, or pay a visit to the Weta Cave in Wellington where they can see props and displays from the films.

And, if that isn't enough, diehard fans flying to New Zealand from the United Kingdom or North America on Air New Zealand can fly on two Hobbit-branded Boeing 777 aircrafts, featuring images from the films on the outside of the plane and special editions of the in-flight safety video, both made with the help of Weta workshop.

For more information about taking a Hobbit vacation in New Zealand, visit NewZealand.com.

[Photo: Hobbiton Tours]

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