Matamata i-SITE gets Hobbit makeover

Matamata will celebrate the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey by giving its i-SITE a makeover.

The Gatehouse, which will be officially opened on Thursday, November 29, brings a touch of 18th Century Europe to the town.

Local craftsmen have combined old-fashioned methods with modern technology to create a traffic-stopping facade for the i-SITE Visitor Centre. 


Visitor numbers are expected to reach around 400,000 in the coming year after the Wellington premiere of the first of the new Tolkien prequel trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Matamata Public Relations Association Manager, Sue Whiting says the community response to the project has been fantastic.

"The Matamata community is excited about the launch of The Hobbit and the redevelopment  of the Hobbiton Movie Set," she said.

"The Matamata i-SITE Gatehouse can be the beginning of the journey for our visitors - it will spark the magic."

The town's businesses have also got into the spirit creating their own slice of The Shire outside their premises with Hobbiton-style gardens and painted windows.

The entire community will share in the Gatehouse opening with celebrations, entertainment and activities to suit all ages planned on the 'Party Field' created close to the building.

Festivities begin around 3pm and will end late in the evening, the official opening will take place from 5pm onwards.

- Hamilton News

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