World-famous director Peter Jackson has built hobbit holes at his property just west of the town and appears to have completed his home renovations, transforming a stately Wairarapa homestead into a spired fantasy mansion.
Woman’s Day magazine says Jackson acquired part of the Hobbbiton set from the films, including Frodo’s home Bag End, to use as a guest house beneath a rolling hillock.
Dotted with mature European trees, the Jackson estate has seen significant developments since it was bought by the director for around $1 million five years ago. Jackson has moved old villas from elsewhere in Wairarapa on to the property, one as a caretaker’s home, and another two, one of which sources say will house a film post-production facility. Building costs are said to have climbed into the tens of millions with luxury and fantasy additions at the 21ha site including a 20m indoor pool with a ceiling adorned to look like the night sky and a 100-seat cinema in the basement. An 80m brick-lined tunnel is said to have been built leading from beneath the house and other plans are said to include a mini-railway system, a private pub and a lake.
Jackson visited the property the day after the much heralded world premiere in Wellington and locals living along the rural road leading to the home were aware of his presence, one household even hanging a banner outside their property proclaiming “Long Live The King” with a golden ring painted on it.
Scores of local tradesmen, already busy with a Wairarapa building boom, have been working at the site alongside gaffers who worked on the Lord of the Rings set during filming.