Visiting the movie set where many parts of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies were filmed is a great experience for fans. The original movie set for Lord of the Rings was actually made of polystyrene and other temporary materials. The village was rebuilt out of more permanent materials for the Hobbit movies and left standing for the Hobbiton experience. The tours are 3 hours long and leave fron Matamata info center at 45 Broadway Street or from nearby the Shire store, which is entrance of the private farm where Hobbiton was built. There is no ticket price difference for either locations and free parking is available at both. Tours from Rotorua or Auckland are available for additional costs.
The full ticket price is $79 and there doesn't seem to be many discounts on offer. You can buy tickets through the nakedbus.com website for $70 for the 2pm tours (type “Matamata” and then typing Hobbiton in the destination; you need to buy these at least 1 day in advance.
There are only guided tours to Hobbiton, which moves things along nicely and has a good narrative. The guide provided a lot of information on each part of the Hobbiton set and even took pictures for people so they could all be in the photos. There were around 22 people in our tour and the max is around 40. Booking your tickets in advance in summer is recommended as tours often sell out in peak season. The tour ends at the Green Dragon Inn tavern where you get one complimentary drink of amber ale, English dark ale, hard apple cider or non-alcoholic ginger beer. Overall Hobbiton is a good add-on to your NZ adventure.
Tip: Hobbiton is accessible by stroller as there were only a few places that had stairs (but no ramps) and only one staircase you really need assistance going up. There are narrow dirt paths, with some fairly steep parts, so best to avoid with a stroller if raining or just after a big rainfall. For these reasons I would say Hobbiton is not wheelchair accessible, but definitely possible with a stroller.