From meandering through stunning gardens to discovering picturesque waterfalls and more - there are plenty of free attractions to enjoy this summer in your own backyard.
- Waiorongomai Valley: (pictured above) 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
- Cycle Trails: From the banks of the Waikato River to the ancient Pureora Forest, there are many cycle trails to enjoy
- Plus much more
From concerts and music festival such as Soundsplash and Fesival One to international cricket, gourmet markets, thoroughbred racing, art events and more; check out the great summer events on the calendar in the Hamilton & Waikato region.
- Summer of Cricket: The ANZ International Series will see Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia come up against the BLACKCAPS at Seddon Park this summer.
- Soundsplash Music Festival: Raglan - 8 - 10 Jan 2016: Soundsplash is the 3-day summer music festival held in the Wainui Reserve in Raglan.
- Festival One: Mystery Creek - 29 Jan - 1 Feb 2016: 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: Raglan - 30 Jan - 1 Feb 2016: 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.
- NZ Motor Cup: Hampton Downs - 29 - 31 Jan 2016: The premier motor-sport series returns to Hampton Downs Motorsport Park for the New Zealand Motor Cup.
- Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival: Hamilton - 19 Feb - 28 Feb: What has now become an iconic open-air summer festival for the city, the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival combines a plethora of visual arts, music, comedy, film, theatre, literature and dance, offering something for all ages and tastes.
- Plus many more...
Things to see and do
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.
- Waitomo Glowworms: Visit the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves - sure to be a hit with all ages.
- Black Water Rafting: Get your adrenalin pumping with a Black Water Rafting trip with Waitomo Adventures - perfect for the older kids
- Animal Encounters: Get up close and personal with exotic animals such as Lemur and Rhino at Hamilton Zoo
- Middle-earth: Discover movie magic with a guided tour through the now permanent Hobbiton Movie Set
- Waikato River Explorer: Experience the unique beauty of the Waikato River with a cruise on the Waikato River Explorer
- Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari: Plentiful walks through native forest for close encounters with native birdlife and reptiles
- Inner City Fun: Challenge family and friends to a friendly game of ten-pin bowling or enjoy the dining options on offer at SKYCITY Hamilton
- Zealong Tea Estate: Take some time for yourself and discover NZ's only Oolong Tea Plantation and enjoy high-tea at the cafe
- Waikato Museum: With great interactive children's exhibitions, the Waikato Museum is a perfect indoor activity
- Te Aroha Mineral Spas: Soothe those aching muscles after a long rider with a soak in the Te Aroha Mineral Spas.
- Retail Therapy: Get some retail therapy at NZ's largest shopping complex, Te Awa at The Base
- Plus much more
Family visiting from out of town
With a range of accommodation options, car hire and Hamilton Airport on your back doorstep, it is easy to accommodate for the extended family - or perhaps treat yourself and enjoy a 'staycation' while exploring the Waikato region.
- Novotel Tainui Hamilton: On the banks of the Waikato River, within a short distance of the Hamilton City section of the Te Awa cycleway, Novtel 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 resturants and entertainment destinations.
- Bella Vista Hamilton: Bella Vista Hamilton offers motel accommodation which caters for cyclists, perfect for families and conveniently located in Hamilton City.
- Te Aroha Landing: Neslted on the banks of the Waihou River in Te Aroha, Te Aroha Landing is the prefect accommodation option for those riding the Hauraki Rail Trail or exploring Te Aroha.
- 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
- Hamilton Airport: With direct daily flights to most major NZ destinations including Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Nelson, its easy and convenient to fly in and out of Hamilton Airport.
- Car Hire: Need an extra set of wheels to ferry the family around? Check out the range of car hire options at Hamilton Airport including Hertz Hamilton
- Plus many more options