Matamata in New Zealand

Wednesday, 19 August 2020 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Hobbiton sign in Matamata © Michael Goetter/cc-by-sa-2.5

Hobbiton sign in Matamata © Michael Goetter/cc-by-sa-2.5

Matamata is a town in the Waikato region of New Zealand’s North Island. It is located near the base of the Kaimai Ranges, and is a thriving farming area known for Thoroughbred horse breeding and training pursuits. It is part of the Matamata-Piako District, which takes in the surrounding rural areas as well as Morrinsville and Te Aroha. State Highway 27 and the Kinleith Branch railway run through the town. The town has a population of 7,910 as of June 2019.

A nearby farm was the location for the Hobbiton Movie Set in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings. The New Zealand government decided to leave the Hobbit holes built on location as tourist attractions, since they were designed to blend seamlessly into the environment. During the period between the filming of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey they had no furniture or props, but could be entered with vistas of the farm viewed from inside them. A “Welcome to Hobbiton” sign has been placed on the main road. In 2011 parts of Hobbiton began to close in preparation for the three new movies based on the first Tolkien novel, The Hobbit.

Hobbit holes reflected in the water © flickr.com - Jackie.lck/cc-by-2.0 Hobbiton Movie Set © unsplash.com - Andres Iga Hobbiton sign in Matamata © Michael Goetter/cc-by-sa-2.5 Inside the Green Dragon Inn © Pseudopanax i-SITE visitor center © Fuwuyuan/cc-by-sa-4.0 Waterhouse opposite to the Green Dragon Inn © Harsh.gavhane/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Waterhouse opposite to the Green Dragon Inn © Harsh.gavhane/cc-by-sa-4.0
In the early nineteenth century, the area including and surrounding the present-day Matamata township was part of the territory of the Ngāti Hauā. The Matamata itself was actually located near the present-day settlement of Waharoa, approximately 6 kilometres (4 miles) to the north. The first European thought to have visited the Matamata area was the trader Phillip Tapsell in about 1830. In 1833 the Reverend Alfred Nesbit Brown visited the area and in 1835 opened a mission near Matamata Pa, but this closed the following year when intertribal warfare broke out. In 1865 Josiah Firth negotiated with Ngāti Hauā leader Wiremu Tamihana and leased a large area of land, including the future site of the town which he named after the pā. Firth constructed a dray road to Cambridge and cleared the Waihou River so that it was navigable by his (small) boats.

Peria, on the outskirts of Matamata, was the scene of the Kīngitanga meeting of 1863. Firth’s estate later failed and by 1904 had been wholly obtained by the Crown and was subdivided into dairy farm units to take advantage of the new technology of refrigeration. It became a dependent Town District in 1917, an independent Town District in 1919 and was constituted a borough in 1935. With the re-organisation of territorial authorities in New Zealand in 1989, Matamata became part of the Matamata-Piako District.

Read more on Matamata, NewZealand.com – Matamata, WaikatoNZ.com – Things to do in Matamata, Hobbiton™ Movie Set Tours, Opal Hot Springs Holiday Park, Matamata Racing Club, Wikivoyage Matamata and Wikipedia Matamata (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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