Mailboxes in New Zealand…and Middle Earth

Here’s another highlight of my trip to New Zealand.  Just look how happy I was in this photo.

Karolyn at Bag End

I’m posing outside Bag End, on the Hobbiton Movie Set near Matamata.  The guided tour is a lot of fun, and I will simply send you to their website for all the details: Click here for the link to

blue door hobbit hole

Walking around the Shire got me thinking about mailboxes.  Most of the hobbit holes have them, and I can see why.  In the novel of The Hobbit, Bilbo “took out his morning letters and began to read”.  In The Lord of the Rings, the postal service is nearly overwhelmed by replies to Bilbo’s party invitation.   So hobbits need letterboxes.

But my question is: did the movie-makers base the design on local New Zealand boxes?  English letterboxes are usually just a rectangle in the front door.  The Kiwi/Hobbiton version is free-standing, and often a work of art in itself.

Here is a gallery of New Zealand mailboxes: some belong to hobbits, some to humans. Guess which is which?!

12 thoughts on “Mailboxes in New Zealand…and Middle Earth

  1. Aha! The pictures give the answers when you scroll over them but that’s cheating. Party business sounds a lot of fun but I might struggle with the height of the doors. They look quite low.


  2. I would love to go see this! My guess is that the first one is the hobbit one and all the rest are human ones — because we’re all hobbits at heart. 😉


    1. The third one (three mailboxes and a basket) is from Hobbiton too. But the 2nd is from Wellington; the 4th from Kaikoura. And you’re right about being a hobbit at heart, even if I would prefer to think of myself as a tall, slender, beautiful elf.


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