From the 2017 Rugby League World Cup and The Taniwha to Gourmet in the Gardens, Round the Bridges and much more - we are set for a stella line-up of events leading into Xmas - the perfect excuse for a weekend away.
- Gourmet in the Gardens: Every Sunday - The region’s best food trucks descend on the Hamilton Gardens to delight the punters eagerly awaiting tasty tucker on sunny Sunday afternoons.
- Mary Poppins: 25 Nov - 09 Dec - The world’s most famous nanny flies into Claudelands Arena for a strictly limited season.
- Waikato 100: 25 Nov - The longest river head race in NZ, the event is open to all ‘human powered’ vessels, including rowing, kayak, paddleboard and waka ama.
- TriMaori Festival: 25 Nov - Held at the Lake Karapiro Domain, the TriMāori Festival has a number of events to suit every fitness level.
- Christmas Events: 1 - 31 Dec - Hamilton & Waikato is gearing up for a family-orientated, super fun festive season with a huge variety of events happening across the region.
- Karioi Trail Run: 09 Dec - The Karioi Trail run will be challenging participants to tackle the stunning Mt Karioi in Raglan.
- Pirongia Boxing Day Races: 26 Dec - Every Boxing Day, New Zealand’s oldest racing club, the Alexandra Racing Club, plays host to the Pirongia Boxing Day Races.
- Cricket: Nov - Feb - With a combination of test matches and ODI all on the agenda, there are plenty of opportunities to grab some mates and head to the cricket in Hamilton this summer.
- Festival One: 26 - 29 Jan - After cementing itself on the music festival scene Festival One is back for 2018, hitting the stage at Mystery Creek Event Centre.
- Raglan Arts Weekend: 27 - 29 Jan - 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.
- Soundsplash Music Festival: 19 - 21 Jan - Soundsplash is a three day summer festival of music, freedom and expression, held in the Wainui reserve in Raglan
- HSBC New Zealand Sevens 2018: 3 - 4 Feb - Hamilton City is set to host the New Zealand leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in February.
- Plus many more.
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.
- Distinction Hamilton Hamilton: Boasting 147 rooms and suites, many refurbished in 2017, free unlimited Wi-Fi, restaurant & bar, fitness centre, indoor swimming pool & spa pools.
- 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.
Flying to Hamilton?
With daily direct flights from Wellington, Christchurch and more, flying to Hamilton will get you to your Short Escape faster.
- Find Flights: Fly direct to Hamilton airport.
- Hertz Hamilton: Grab a rental car from Hertz Hamilton, located at Hamilton Airport.
- Plus many more options
Make the most of your short escape with these great activity suggestions. From underground wonders and Middle-earth Movie Magic to wildlife encounters, kayak trips and much more.
- Waitomo Glowworm Caves: Visit the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves and gaze in awe at the galaxy of glowworms.
- Hobbiton Movie Set: Discover movie magic with a guided tour through the permanent.
- Hamilton Gardens: Explore the award-winning Hamilton Gardens and discover different civilisations and historically important garden styles from the farthest reaches of the world.
- SKYCITY Hamilton: Check out SKYCITY Hamilton's new Bowl & Social for ten pin bowling, great food and timezone games.
- Watiomo Adventures: Get your adrenaline pumping with a zipline, abseil or black water rafting trip with Waitomo Adventures.
- Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari: Discover Plentiful walks through native forest for close encounters with birdlife and reptiles.
- Hamilton Zoo: Get up close and personal with exotic animals such as Lemur and Rhino with Hamilton Zoo's Face2Face encounters at Hamilton Zoo.
- Waikato Museum: With top art, history and interactive kids exhibitions the Waikato Museum is a perfect indoor activity for the entire family.
- Hampton Downs: Challenge friends and family to a few laps of go karting at Hampton Downs.
- Good George Brewery: Learn all about the brewing process and their award-winning beers with a Brewery Tour, or enjoy a bite to eat in the dining hall.
- Zealong Tea Estate: Treat yourself to a high tea overlooking the stunning tea plantation.
- Raglan Rock: Get the adrenaline pumping with canyoning adventure abseiling down, jumping off and climbing up waterfalls.
- Raglan Kayak & Paddleboard: Explore Raglan's limestone coast with kayak & paddleboard tours and rentals.
- Raglan Surf School: Learn to surf on Raglan's world famous left-hand surf breaks.
- 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