Hobbit mania sees fans mobbing fans

Cate Blanchett, who plays Galadriel, at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Cate Blanchett, who plays Galadriel, at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
James Nesbitt signs autographs on the Hobbit premiere red carpet.
James Nesbitt signs autographs on the Hobbit premiere red carpet.
Andy Serkis runs down the red carpet at the Hobbit premiere in Wellington.
Andy Serkis runs down the red carpet at the Hobbit premiere in Wellington.
Sir Peter Jackson and daughter Katie at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Sir Peter Jackson and daughter Katie at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
From left, Designer Andrea Moore, Cate Blanchett and Dominion Post editor Bernadette Courtney at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
From left, Designer Andrea Moore, Cate Blanchett and Dominion Post editor Bernadette Courtney at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Evangeline Lily, right, at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Evangeline Lily, right, at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Director James Cameron and wife Suzy Amis at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Director James Cameron and wife Suzy Amis at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
James Nesbitt, who plays Bofur, at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
James Nesbitt, who plays Bofur, at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Stephen Hunter, left, who plays Bombur, and Graham McTavish, who plays Dwalin at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Stephen Hunter, left, who plays Bombur, and Graham McTavish, who plays Dwalin at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Hugo Weaving, who plays Elrond, at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington. Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown is in the background.
Hugo Weaving, who plays Elrond, at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington. Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown is in the background.
Sylvester McCoy, who plays wizard Radagast the Brown, at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Sylvester McCoy, who plays wizard Radagast the Brown, at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Andy Serkis with wife Lorraine Ashbourne at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington. Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown is in the background.
Andy Serkis with wife Lorraine Ashbourne at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington. Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown is in the background.
The Air New Zealand Boeing 777-300 with Hobbit-themed livery flies over Courtenay Pl in Wellington during the red carpet event.
The Air New Zealand Boeing 777-300 with Hobbit-themed livery flies over Courtenay Pl in Wellington during the red carpet event.
Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo, at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo, at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Sir Peter Jackson talks with fans at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Sir Peter Jackson talks with fans at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Huge crowds at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Huge crowds at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
A view from a building of the red carpet at the premiere of The Hobbit in Wellington.
A view from a building of the red carpet at the premiere of The Hobbit in Wellington.
Neil Finn performs on the red carpet at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington
Neil Finn performs on the red carpet at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington
Neil Finn performs at the red carpet event at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Neil Finn performs at the red carpet event at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Hobbit fans squash in to Courtenay Pl to see the stars walk the red carpet.
Hobbit fans squash in to Courtenay Pl to see the stars walk the red carpet.
People walk the red carpet at the premiere of The Hobbit - including New Zealand Post staff in red and yellow.
People walk the red carpet at the premiere of The Hobbit - including New Zealand Post staff in red and yellow.
A view of the end of Courtenay Pl near the Embassy Theatre as the premiere event for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey heats up.
A view of the end of Courtenay Pl near the Embassy Theatre as the premiere event for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey heats up.
Hobbit fans amass at a local bar to get a good view of the red carpet.
Hobbit fans amass at a local bar to get a good view of the red carpet.

They lined balconies and window ledges, they perched on poles and rubbish bins - anything to get a peek as the cast of The Hobbit walked the red carpet.

Some, like Wellington bar owner Tim Ward, did it the old-fashioned way, picking his children up from school in Mt Cook and heading straight down, crowding as near as they could to the barricade with 7-year-old daughter Rose, son Max, and Max's friend, Hong Yu.

"The kids would not have let me live it down, not having taken them," Mr Ward said.

"The most difficult part of the day was explaining to them they weren't actually seeing the movie. They thought that was going to be the finale."

Unlike many sunburnt Wellingtonians, they managed to find a prime spot in the shade of a tree and got to know all the other onlookers around them. "It was a lovely Wellington community feel."

Such was the mania that people merely dressed as Hobbit characters were getting besieged by fans keen to get a photo.

Trevor Woudt, of New Plymouth, who dressed as Gandalf, had a steady stream of photos taken with him.

Even at Park Rd Post in Miramar earlier in the day, he had animators popping out to get a photo with him.

For him, it was just about the love of the project. "I'm just amazed at what Weta Workshop has done."

Tour guide Derek Carver, also dressed as Gandalf, was besieged by photographers too. He planned to get to the barricade edge in time for the walk for just one reason - to see Cate Blanchett.

"I will probably get totally tongue-tied. [I've been] waiting for this a long time," he said.

To get her best view of the red carpet, Kerry Zhou, 8, was one of many who perched on bollards. But given she has a history of gymnastics and diving, her father Shusen Yi had no doubt she could last two hours or more atop the bollard.

Florian Letsch, a Tolkien fan from Germany who came dressed as a dwarf, just happened to be in New Zealand. "It's kind of the best timing for me," he said.

For Chris Winchester, of Pukerua Bay, dressed as a "generic Middle-earth man", seeing the film was the big goal.

"I'm actually waiting to see if I'm in the film," the extra said.

The Dominion Post