A 44-month, globetrotting quest finally came to an end on Sunday, as Tomica Kristic arrived on the Hobbiton Film Set in Matamata.

The Croatian set out on the 40,000 km route in 2015 with the aim of hitchhiking from his home town to New Zealand.

"I only started with 1500 Euros ($2550) in my pocket, which was fast running out," he wrote on his blog.

"I thought New Zealand would take me only two years, but those two years are already far behind."

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Kristic arrived in New Zealand in April, for the final leg of the adventure. Photo / tomicakristic.com
Kristic arrived in New Zealand in April, for the final leg of the adventure. Photo / tomicakristic.com

In spite of taking twice as long to achieve his goal, he never turned back or thought of giving up.

The happy-go-lucky adventurer said his route was "simple".

Passing through 25 countries and 3 continents, Kristic visited Iran, India and passed through the south coast of Australia.

Middle-earth via the middle east: Kristic spent Christmas 2016 in Tehran. Photo / tomicakristic.com
Middle-earth via the middle east: Kristic spent Christmas 2016 in Tehran. Photo / tomicakristic.com

Writing about his experience as he went – in English and Croatian – he logged the highs and lows of the journey online. These included being sold fake banknotes in Tehran and getting a lift from a camel through the desert in Rajasthan.

Jodhpur: The Croat passed through 25 countries on his way to New Zealand. Photo / tomicakristic.com
Jodhpur: The Croat passed through 25 countries on his way to New Zealand. Photo / tomicakristic.com

Although the hiker, who worked in a cinema for four years, wrote that one of his bigger regrets was missing the release of the new Star Wars movies "because Iranian theatres only show Iranian movies!"

Methodically updating his blog Journey to Middle-Earth, the young Croat started making his way through the Balkans in October 2015 and never looked back.

'The roads of new Zealand looked so appealing that I simply had to walk the whole country'. Photo / tomicakristic.com
'The roads of new Zealand looked so appealing that I simply had to walk the whole country'. Photo / tomicakristic.com

Although travelling alone, and at his own pace, he has inspired a loyal followership online.

With a 12000-strong Facebook page Kristic arrived in New Zealand to complete the final 1500 km of his journey in April.

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"The roads of new Zealand looked so appealing that I simply had to walk the whole country," he said.

Beginning at the southernmost tip of the South Island at Slope Point, he hiked the remainder of his journey with a pull-cart.

Edge of Europe: Journey took the happy-go-lucky traveller twice as long to complete. Photo / tomicakristic.com
Edge of Europe: Journey took the happy-go-lucky traveller twice as long to complete. Photo / tomicakristic.com

Arriving in Matamata on a tour with other international visitors, he was amused to be asked by some young children visiting Hobbiton: "why didn't you just take a plane?"

On coming to the end of his four-year journey, Kristic said he felt surprisingly stoic about the finish.

"Reaching my final destination there was no emotion in me at all. No sadness, no happiness, nothing at all. Just pure silence where I was observing myself at the end," wrote Kristic in his final post. "But I know, this is not the end at all."

Ruapehu: Kristic vowed to complete the last 1500km of his journey on foot. Photo / tomicakristic.com
Ruapehu: Kristic vowed to complete the last 1500km of his journey on foot. Photo / tomicakristic.com

Although he didn't have any immediate hiking adventures lined up, Kristic told The Herald he had no desire to stop travelling.

Perhaps there's a sequel to this Hobbit-inspired trek, there and back again?