From the Blackcaps v Australia to the Kawhia Kai Festival and Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival, Balloons Over Waikato and much more - we are set for a stella line-up of summer events in 2017 - the perfect excuse for a weekend away.
- Magic Home Games - 26 March - 29 May: The 2017 ANZ Championship will see the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic Netball team take on the Stars, Mystics, and Tactix at Claudelands Arena in Hamilton throughout March and May.
- AON Maadi Cup - 27 March - 2 April: New Zealand’s largest rowing regatta, the AON Maadi Cup will see some of the country’s top school rowing teams compete at Lake Karapiro.
- ECHO Walking Festival - 1 - 23 April: Enjoy Connecting Hills & Ocean (ECHO) walking festival is a celebration of the fantastic array of walking and hiking trials found throughout the Hamilton & Waikato and Coromandel regions.
- The Great NZ Muster - 1 April: In in the best Kiwi tradition, each year Te Kuiti puts on a show with the Great New Zealand Muster, celebrating its unofficial status as shearing capital of the world.
- The Great Pumpkin Carnival - 2 April: Giant ones, tiny ones, heavy ones and oddly shaped ones – there will be pumpkins of all shapes, sizes and creations on display at the Great Pumpkin Carnival at Hamilton Gardens.
- Waikato Show - 7 - 9 April: The great family event that is the Waikato Show returns to Hamilton's Claudelands Event Centre this April.
- Kihikihi International Horse Trials - 7 - 9 April: The annual Kihikihi International Horse Trials will once again bring together some of the best horse and rider combinations to compete in dressage, cross-country and show jumping.
- The Generator Multi-sport Event - 8 April: Held along one of New Zealand’s Great Cycle Trails, the Waikato River Trails, the Generator is a challenging multi-sport event for individuals and teams.
- Cambridge Autumn Festival - 19 - 30 April: The annual Cambridge Autumn Festival celebrates the performance and visual arts.
- World Master Games (Rowing & Track Cycling) - 21 - 30 April: The Waipa district and the wider Waikato region are proud to host the World Masters Games rowing and track cycling events.
- Waitomo Trail Run - 29 April: With a variety of courses to choose from, participants will walk/run past glowworms and karst landscapes, through native bush and natural tunnels plus much more on this unique trail running event.
- Milk Matters interactive kids exhibition - until 29 April: Learn how milk is made and processed, why the Waikato is the dairy capital of NZ, and the science and technology used in the dairy farming industry – all in a fun an informative way.
From inner city hotels and motels to rural lodges and beachside holiday parks, the 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: Flying into Hamilton? Grab a rental car from Hertz Hamilton.
- Plus many more options
An event is the perfect excuse to plan a weekend away. Why not explore the city and region while you are here: With everything from underground adventure and Middle-earth movie magic to wildlife encounters and more - there are plenty of great activities to enjoy.
- 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
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