sunset at Raglan Beach, Raglan, New Zealand

Summer Escapes

Summer Short Escapes

From underground wonders and beachside escapes to Middle-earth movie magic, outdoor adventures and more, there is something for everyone this summer...

Free Attractions

The diverse Hamilton & Waikato region provides an abundance of free activities and attractions so you can experience the wonders and hidden gems of the region on any budget
Family

Family Fun

Make the most of family outings and holidays with the abundance of family-friendly activities in the region...
Events

Summer Events

From Fight for Life & the UCI Track Cycling Champs to Soundsplash Music Festival, Festival One and more

Lost World, Waitomo Adventures, Waitomo, New Zealand

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.
Bag End, Hobbiton Movie Set, Matamata, NZ

Middle-earth Movie Magic

Discover movie magic with a tour of Hobbiton Movie Set near Matamata
Ngarunui Beach, Raglan Summer, Waikato NZ

Beachside Escapes

With its black sand, fine surfing, tranquil harbour and laidback vibe, Raglan is a unique and relatively unknown slice of Kiwi heaven.

Start Planning

  • Accommodation in Hamilton & Waikato

    Accommodation

    From B&Bs to motels, hotels, holiday homes and more

  • Hot Deals

    From 50% off to kids go free - Grab a deal or discount on top attractions and activities, inner-city entertainment, accommodation, dining and retail in the Hamilton & Waikato region with these great hot deals...

Must Dos

Free Attractions

From meandering through stunning gardens to discovering picturesque waterfalls and more - the Hamilton & Waikato region has plenty of free attractions to enjoy this summer.

  • 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

Accommodation

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, 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: A short ride from the Hamilton section of Te Awa, Bella Vista Hamilton offers motel accommodation which caters for cyclists.
  • 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.
  • Plus many more options

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

Upcoming Events

Summer Events in Hamilton & Waikato

From concerts and music festival to international cricket and cycling events, check out the great summer events on the calendar in the Hamilton & Waikato region.

  • BlackCaps v Sri Lanka, Hamilton - 18 - 22 Dec 2015: The ANZ International Series will see the BLACKCAPS play Sri Lanka at Seddon Park in Hamilton.
  • 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.