Explore Your Own Backyard this School Holidays

With fewer crowds around , the winter school holidays is the perfect time to explore your own backyard. From top events and underground wonders to school holiday activities, outdoor adventures and much more...

Hauraki Rail Trail, Te Aroha, New Zealand
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Cycle Trails

Ride along some of NZ's top trails
SKYCITY Hamilton Bowl & Social

Indoor Fun

From educational exhibitions to ten-pin bowling and more - stay warm this winter with a range of indoor activity options.
Waiorongomai Valley Walk, Te Aroha, New Zealand
Winter

Top 10 Winter Activities

From indoor activities to underground adventures and much more - explore your own backyard this winter...

Events

Winter Events

From rugby to Fieldays - there are plenty of great events happening in Hamilton & Waikato this winter.
St Benedicts Caverns, Waitomo Adventures, Waitomo, NZ

Underground Adventure

Millions of years in the making, the region’s caves, including the world-famous ones at Waitomo, provides a playground unlike any other. As if it’s not enough that nature has carved out a glowworm-studded underground marvel, enterprising locals have added adventure activities to enhance the experience further.
Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari Walking Trails, Waikato, New Zealand
Outdoors

Walking Trails

From spectacular waterfalls to native forests - explore the variety of walks on offer in the Hamilton & Waikato region.

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Explore Your Own Backyard

Winter Events

Winter Events in Hamilton & Waikato

From the Chiefs v British & Irish Lions match to the National Agricultural Fieldays, The Wiggles and much more - there are plenty of great events on throughout the region this winter.

  • Matariki Dish Challenge - 10th-14th June: The challenge will see local chefs create a Matariki inspired dish with at least two local ingredients, which are then available for the public to enjoy.
  • Waikato Museum School Holidays Programme - 10th - 21st July: Have fun at the Museum these school holidays with ‘Exsciting’ science, magical arts, Permian Monster origami and lots more creative activities.
  • The Wiggles - 16th July: The world's favourite children's entertainment group, The Wiggles, are coming to perform for you this July as part of their Wiggle Around New Zealand tour
  • Okoroire Mid-Winter Fun ride - 30th July: Brave the frosty winter morning and get your heart pumping with the Okoroire Mid-Winter Fun Ride.
  • Karioi Classic - 30th July: Challenge yourself on this mountain bike race over a rich and varied landscape, encountering windy tracks, hilly slopes and gravel roads.
  • Plus much more


Free Attractions & Hidden Gems

Free Winter activities in Hamilton & Waikato

From discovering picturesque waterfalls and climbing to cycling over swing bridges or climbing to mountaintop views - there are plenty of free attractions to enjoy this winter 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

Must Do Winter Activities

Top Winter Activities in Hamilton & Waikato

From underground adventure and Middle-earth movie magic to wildlife encounters and indoor fun - there are plenty of great activities to enjoy with the whole family this winter.

  • Waitomo Glowworm Caves: Visit the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves and gaze in awe at the galaxy of glowworms or opt for an adventurous black water rafting trip with the Legendary Black Water Rafting Co.
  • 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 ziplining, abseiling or black water rafting adventures into caves with names such as the Lost World
  • Hamilton Zoo: Get up close and personal with exotic animals such as Lemur and Rhino with Hamilton Zoo's Eye2Eye encounters
  • Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari: Naturally sheltered walks through native forest - you may even have a close encounters with some native birdlife
  • Hobbiton Movie Set: Discover movie magic with a guided tour through the permanent Hobbiton Movie Set or an evening banquet tour to feast like a Hobbit
  • SKYCITY Hamilton: Check out SKYCITY's new Bowl & Social for ten pin bowling, great food and timezone games
  • Waikato Museum: With great interactive kids exhibitions, the Waikato Museum is a perfect indoor activity year round
  • 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

Take a Staycation

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