• Sunset at Raglan, New Zealand
  • Italian Renaissance garden, Hamilton Garden, NZ.jpg
  • Soundsplash Music Festival

Explore Your Own Backyard this Summer

Make the most of the warmer weather with the variety of things to see and do in your own backyard this summer: from beachside escapes and on the water fun to top events, outdoor adventures, family friendly activities and much more...

Soundsplash Music Festival

Summer Events

From music festivals and sporting matches to family events and more
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TOP PICK

Cycle Trails

Ride along some of NZ's top trails
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Free

Free Attractions

Explore your own backyard on any budget with the great free attractions on offer throughout Hamilton & Waikato

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MUST DO

Summer Must Do Activities

From beachside escapes to outdoor adventures and much more
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COOL DOWN

On the Water Fun

From kayaking and paddleboarding to great swimming spots
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Walking Trails

From casual strolls along the river to overnight bush excursions and winding mountain tracks the Hamilton & Waikato region has a variety of great walking trails to suit everyone.

Hot Deals

Explore Your Own Backyard

Summer Events

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From Soundsplash Music Festival and the Blackcaps v Australia to the Kawhia Kai Festival and Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival - we are set for a stella line-up of summer events in 2017.

  • Jim Jefferies - 21 January: Jim Jefferies will be returning to New Zealand this January to undertake a huge nine-date headline tour.
  • Soundsplash Music Festival - 20 - 22 January: Soundsplash is a three day summer festival of music, freedom and expression, held in the Wainui reserve in Raglan.
  • Festival One - 27 - 30 January: Festival One is a multi-day Christian festival, which brings together music, creative arts and culture to create a community atmosphere within the festival.
  • Raglan Arts Weekend & Little Food Fest - 28 - 30 January: Head to Raglan this Auckland Anniversary Weekend and experience the laidback vibe that has helped shape this thriving artistic community, with the Raglan Arts Weekend and Little Food Festival.
  • Gourmet in the Gardens - Every Sunday: Enjoy food from around the globe at the popular Gourmet in the Gardens food market, every Sunday until March.
  • Winery Tour - 3 February: Celebrating its 10th anniversary, The Winery Tour will feature two of New Zealand’s most successful artists of all time, Brooke Fraser and Bic Runga, along with exciting newcomer Benny Tipene.
  • Kawhia Kai Festival - 4 February: The iconic Kawhia Kai Festival brings together performers, artists, musicians and of traditional Maori Kai (food).
  • Blackcaps v Australia - 5 February: Support the BlackCaps as they take on Australia this February.
  • Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival - 17 - 26 February: The spectacular Hamilton Gardens will be abuzz with summer activity and entertainment for the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival this February.
  • Bob Marley Exhibition - Until April: The Waikato Museums newest exhibition will host a collection of photographs and prints documenting the life of Bob Marley.

Take a Staycation

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Enjoy some down time with a 'staycation' in one of the region's great accommodation options, or book a room for those extra guests visiting from out of town - our region boasts a range of accommodation to suit all budgets and tastes.

  • Novotel Tainui Hamilton: On the banks of the Waikato River, within a short distance of the Hamilton City section of the Te Awa cycleway, Novotel offers all the creature comforts of a large hotel.
  • Sudima Hotel Hamilton: In the heart of Hamilton City, Sudima Hamilton is walking distance to all major restaurants and entertainment destinations.
  • Ibis Tainui Hamilton: The hotel presents the only restaurant in the city with breath taking views of the Waikato River - a great place to enjoy unique local flavors
  • Ventura Inn & Suites Hamilton: A warm welcome that's worth checking into - Ventura is great value accommodation for a night away.
  • Hertz Hamilton: If you find yourself in need of an extra vehicle over summer - check out Hertz Hamilton.
  • Plus many more options

Must Do Summer Activities

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From underground adventure and Middle-earth movie magic to wildlife encounters and inn-city fun - there are plenty of great activities to enjoy this summer.

  • Water Activities: From kayaking and paddle boarding to surfing and more - there is plenty of on the water fun to be had this summer
  • Waitomo Glowworm Caves: Visit the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves and gaze in awe at the galaxy of glowworms
  • Hamilton Gardens: Explore the 2014 International Garden of the year and discover different civilisations and historically important garden styles from the farthest reaches of the world.
  • Watiomo Adventures: Get your adrenalin pumping with a zipline into the Lost World Cave with Waitomo Adventures
  • Hamilton Zoo: Get up close and personal with exotic animals such as Lemur and Rhino with Hamilton Zoo's Eye2Eye encounters
  • Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari: Plentiful walks through native forest for close encounters with native birdlife and reptiles
  • Hobbiton Movie Set: Discover movie magic with a guided tour through the permanent Hobbiton Movie Set
  • SKYCITY Hamilton: Check out SKYCITY's new Bowl & Social for ten pin bowling, great food and timezone games
  • Waikato Museum: With top art and history exhibitions, the Waikato Museum is a perfect indoor activity
  • Retail Therapy: Get some retail therapy at NZ's largest shopping complex, Te Awa at The Base 
  • Raglan Rock: Get the adrenalin pumping with canyoning adventure abseiling down, jumping off and climbing up waterfalls
  • Lake District Adventures: Take a magical glowwom kayak tour on Lake Karapiro, or hire some bikes to explore the Waikato River Trails 
  • Plus much more


Free Attractions

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From meandering through stunning gardens to discovering picturesque waterfalls and climbing to mountaintop views - there are plenty of free attractions to enjoy this summer in your own backyard.

  • Waiorongomai Valley: Step back into gold mining history as you explore the Waiorongomai Valley in Te Aroha
  • Blue Spring at Te Waihou Walkway: Visit the internationally acclaimed springs, with water so pure its supplies around 70% of NZ's bottled water
  • Wairere Falls: Walk the Wairere Falls track near Matamata for stunning views of the falls and out over the region
  • Otorohanga Kiwiana Walk: Pick up a quiz sheet from the Otorohanga i-SITE and look for clues on the Ed Hillary walkways
  • Hamilton Gardens: Download and follow the Hamilton Gardens Children's Discovery Trail activity sheet
  • Mangaokewa Scenic Reserve: Explore the attractive bush walk to the Cascade Waterfalls
  • Hamilton Lake Domain: Stroll around the lake and let the kids loose on the playground
  • Hakarimata Walkway: Visit ancient Kauri trees, tackle the summit stairs or try the family friendly rail trail tracks
  • Gallagher Bike Skills Park: Helps your children to learn essential bike skills in a safe environment
  • Mokena Geyser: Watch the world's only naturally hot soda water geyser erupt every 40 minutes in Te Aroha - while you are there check out the free foot pools in the domain
  • Cycle Trails: From the banks of the Waikato River to the ancient Pureora Forest, there are many cycle trails to enjoy
  • Plus much more