With the second Hobbit movie, “The Desolation of Smaug” premiering this week, all over the city you can see signs and references to middle earth and the hobbit.

Wellington city bus 

On my flight to Auckland this week for work, I noticed the sign “Middle of Middle Earth” in place of Wellington Airport (as Wellington is located at about the middle of New Zealand).

Middle of Middle Earth – aka Wellington Airport 

Gandolf was even seen flying on a huge eagle (from the first Hobbit) in the middle of the airport!

Gandolf riding a huge Eagle in the Wellington Airport 

Even on the plane, Air New Zealand’s safety briefing was Hobbit themed! I have to say, it was the first time in a long time I actually paid full attention to those safety videos. Love all the big hobbit feet 😛

As part of Jordan’s birthday present, I got him tickets to the movie on opening night at The Embassy theatre in Wellington – a beautiful old theatre built in 1924 that has been restored to become a luxury theatre experience!

Jordan’s work Christmas party ended up being the same night, but since it was expected to end at 8:30pm, we figured he had lots of time to make the 9:15pm showing. Unfortunately when it was almost 9pm and the boat was still out in the harbour, we scrabbled to figure out a plan. Luckily the guy at the ticket booth was extremely helpful and offered to put us in the 10pm showing, despite it not being the same grand experience in the large theatre with HFR (high frame rate).

Luckily the boat began to head back to shore, and as soon as it landed Jordan ran to just make it in time to see it. Despite it being in the smaller theatre, it was still quite a cool experience as it was large leather seating with beautiful wood panel cup holders and a bar outside to hang out in until the show started. Since you have to pre-select your seats in advance, it was a much nicer experience as you could just relax and have a drink, entering the theatre just a minute before it started, as opposed to fighting in long lines for opening weekend at home, praying you don’t get stuck with a front row seat cranking your neck.

Since it just came out I won’t give any spoilers, but the movie is definitely a MUST SEE! It was pretty cool seeing the movie in the city it was made and we loved recognizing some of the places we’ve visited in the scenes!

P.S. Incase you missed it, check out our video touring the Hobbiton movie set here!