12 Reasons Hobbits Should Live in Alaska Instead of New Zealand

11/12/2012 Back To Blog Denali in Alaska, Mt. Cook in New Zealand

We all know that Hobbits live in Middle Earth and not Alaska or New Zealand, but whether you dreamed of Guillermo del Toro or Peter Jackson as director, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit had to be filmed somewhere. Here are 12 reasons Alaska is a better choice for Hobbit habitation (Hobbitation).


Hobbits like pretty scenery and both New Zealand and Alaska are known for gorgeous glaciers. But New Zealand’s largest (Tasman Glacier) is only 17 miles long whereas Alaska’s largest (Bering Glacier) is over 100 miles long. Size matters. Even to Hobbits.

Our Lonely Mountain is Bigger than Their Lonely Mountain

Speaking of size… at 20,320 feet, Alaska’s Denali is far taller than New Zealand’s Aoraki/Mount Cook (only 12,316 feet).

Less Stringent Import Restrictions

Have you ever tried to take an apple into New Zealand? You’re facing exorbitant fines and/or prison time. It’s a miracle that with all the lembas bread they were carrying across borders, Frodo and Samwise weren’t detained permanently by men with badges. That’s even scarier than Orcs.


Despite the intrepidness of both Frodo and Bilbo, Hobbits are usually gentle creatures who would appreciate the numerous whales that abound in both Alaska and New Zealand. But we’re worried that the Hobbits’ sensibilities might be assaulted if they happen upon one of the mass whale beachings that are becoming common in New Zealand.

No Middle for Middle Earth

Any map proves that New Zealand is all wrong as Middle Earth. Because the country is long and skinny (every spot is less than 75 miles from the coast), there’s barely any middle to hold The Iron Hills and Rohan and Mirkwood.

Ent Habitat

We’re concerned about the Ents. Treebeard took great care of Merry and Pippin and then helped fight Saruman. Because trees cover only 23% of New Zealand while over 30% of Alaska is forested, Treebeard would have access to more friends in Alaska and also a lot more area to stretch his roots.

Slow and Spendy Internet

According to Net Index, Internet connectivity in New Zealand is slow and expensive. In October of 2012, consumers achieved an average download speed of 10.84 Mbps. Mongolia, Andorra and Moldova all have faster internet. Living in The Shire with a slow internet connection could drive anyone to follow Gandalf on one of his crazy quests. Plus, you’ll pay nearly 60% more per Mbps in New Zealand than in Alaska.


If you are a strict interpretationist, you might say the fact that New Zealand’s largest spider, spelungula cavernicola, also called the Nelson Cave Spider, is a vote in New Zealand’s favor. But with a 1.2” body (over 1.5 times as large as Alaska’s large orb weaver spider), we feel comfortable recommending that Hobbits move to Alaska to avoid even the possibility of a Shelob or Shelob-like encounter.


Because horses weren’t brought to New Zealand until 1814, the Kiwi branch of the Riders of Rohan has barely had a chance to get their legs under them. Meanwhile, the Equus genus originated in North America before traveling over the Bering land bridge to other continents. Basically, Alaska is how horses were introduced to the world.

New Zealand Already Has a Queen

As monarch of The Commonwealth of Nations, Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II also rules over New Zealand. Though she is fond of her Corgies, we doubt she’d sweep a Hobbit up on horseback and whisk him away to Rivendell as Arwen Undómiel, future Queen of Gondor, did for Frodo.

Move over Gandalf

New Zealand also already has a wizard. Ian Brackenbury Channell gives lectures from a ladder in Christchurch’s Cathedral Square and has been declared a living work of art by the New Zealand Art Gallery Directors Association. Remember what happened with Saruman? To avoid future wizard on wizard violence, we recommend the Hobbits move to Alaska and bring Gandalf with them.


New Zealand is home to the tuatara, a dragon-like lizard whose ancestors walked the earth with the dinosaurs. At 32 inches, the tuatara is not big enough to be confused with Smaug, but who knows where evolution could take this rare creature. Alaska is 100% dragon free.

If you were a Hobbit, where would you live?

Posted in: Alaska Travel Tips