• Activities in Hamilton & Waikato

Make the most of your time with a short escape in Hamilton & Waikato

From family adventures to underground wonders and everything in between - make the most of your next short escape with the great activities & attractions on offer in Hamilton & Waikato

Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Discover Waitomo, New Zealand

Top Attractions

From underground wonders to Middle-earth movie magic and much more...
Sanctuary Mountain, Te Awamutu, Waikato, New Zealand
Exploring Time

Outdoor Adventures

Top walking & cycling tracks
Bag End, Hobbiton Movie Set, Matamata, NZ

Win a Short Escape

Enter the draw to Win a Short Escape for two in Hamilton & Waikato.

Raglan Kayak & Paddleboard Hire, Raglan
Adventure Time

On the water Fun

From kayaking and paddleboarding to surfing and more
Waikato Museum Exscite Exhibition
Discovery Time

Family Friendly Activities

From animal encounters to ten pin bowling - discover family friendly activities in Hamilton & Waikato
Sharing Time

Dining Options

From great local cafes to award-winning restaurants

Hot Deals

Things to see and do

Upcoming Events

Rugby League World Cup 2017

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.

Accommodation Options

Accommodation in Hamilton & Waikato NZ

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.


Activity Suggestions

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 CavesVisit the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves and gaze in awe at the galaxy of glowworms.
  • Hobbiton Movie SetDiscover movie magic with a guided tour through the permanent.
  • Hamilton GardensExplore the award-winning Hamilton Gardens and discover different civilisations and historically important garden styles from the farthest reaches of the world.
  • SKYCITY HamiltonCheck 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 MaungatautariDiscover Plentiful walks through native forest for close encounters with birdlife and reptiles.
  • Hamilton ZooGet up close and personal with exotic animals such as Lemur and Rhino with Hamilton Zoo's Face2Face encounters at Hamilton Zoo.
  • Waikato MuseumWith top art, history and interactive kids exhibitions the Waikato Museum is a perfect indoor activity for the entire family.
  • Hampton DownsChallenge friends and family to a few laps of go karting at Hampton Downs.
  • Good George BreweryLearn 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 EstateTreat yourself to a high tea overlooking the stunning tea plantation.
  • Raglan RockGet the adrenaline pumping with canyoning adventure abseiling down, jumping off and climbing up waterfalls.
  • Raglan Kayak & PaddleboardExplore Raglan's limestone coast with kayak & paddleboard tours and rentals.
  • Raglan Surf SchoolLearn to surf on Raglan's world famous left-hand surf breaks.
  • Lake District AdventuresTake a magical glowwom kayak tour on Lake Karapiro, or hire some bikes to explore the Waikato River Trails.
  • Plus much more.

Free Attractions

Free Attractions in Hamilton & Waikato

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