First published on abcnews.com
Calling all "Lord of the Rings" fans! Middle-earth is no longer the imaginary home to your favorite Orcs and Elves on the big screen. The fantasy universe comes to life, both in the air and on the ground, with the unveiling of a Hobbit-themed plane from Air New Zealand and a "hobbit house" in Montana.
So in honor of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," premiering today, we’re celebrating with the top four Hobbit-themed attractions that Gandalf, Aragorn and all your favorite characters would happily endorse.
For around $60, "Hobbit" fans can visit the 1,250-acre New Zealand farm that was transformed into the pastoral Shire in 2002. The area has since been rebuilt for the new film trilogy, incorporating wood and stone into the structures that complement the stone bridge, mill and swan-filled pond.
The 105-minute walking tour has drawn nearly 250,000 visitors over the last decade. It is expected to welcome 150,000 more tourists in the upcoming year. more…