Fresh from Tolkien's English Midlands, Thomas Bywater assesses the Lord of the Rings landmark through the eyes of a Hobbit

For better or worse, we have a long history of importing things from the UK.

Whereas some things were New Zealand's gain, some we could have done without. Along with fish and chips and BBC reruns came rabbits, stoats and weasels.

A disclaimer, dear reader: I too am an English import.


However, I cannot claim to have done half as much damage to the population of ground-nesting kākāpō and indigenous flora and fauna as the rest of the invasive species


There and back again

First impressions

The landscape

The Hobbit holes

The Green Dragon Pub

What would Tolkien think of Hobbiton?