Sheep have replaced hobbits at The Shire in Matamata. The rolling green pastures and hobbit houses that provided the backdrop for director Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy were originally going to be converted into hobbit theme park, to attract tourists to the town. But the plans were shelved, and the land is now home to 12, sheep and 25 cattle. They are allowed to roam around the 17 hobbit holes left behind after the production team departed. Visitors too are able to explore the village through Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Tours, a company established by the farmers who own the land.