Explore Your Own Backyard this Summer

Make the most of the summer sun and explore your own backyard. With family friendly activities, top events, and much more on offer, there is plenty to keep the entire family entertained this summer.

Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Discover Waitomo, New Zealand

Top Attractions

Find top activities & attractions in the Hamilton & Waikato region

Family Fun

Make the most of family outings and holidays with the abundance of family-friendly activities in the region...
Walking Trails in Hamilton & Waikato

Walking and Hiking

Meander alongside the Waikato River or get the pulse racing climbing to an inspirational mountain top view...

Waiorongomai Valley Walk, Te Aroha, New Zealand
Top Pick

Free attractions

experience the wonders and hidden gems of the region on any budget with an abundance of free activities and attractions.
Ruakuri Cave, Waitomo, New Zealand

Underground Adventures

From abseiling into a Lost World or floating under a galaxy of glowworms, enjoy the magic of a caving trip in the Waitomo Caves.
Soundsplash Music Festival

Summer Events

Music Festival, Crickets and more

Hot Deals

Things to see & do

Upcoming Events

From music festivals and cricket matches to gourmet markets and more - we are set for a stella line-up of summer events throughout the Hamilton & Waikato region.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Kawhia Kai Festival: 3 Feb - The iconic Kawhia Kai Festival brings together performers, artists, musicians and traditional Maori Kai (food).
  • Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival; - 7 - 18 Feb - The Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival celebrates all things creative within the internationally acclaimed and award-winning Hamilton Gardens.
  • NZ Rowing Champs; - 13 - 17 Feb - The 2018 Rocket Kitchen New Zealand Rowing Championships will be held on Lake Karapiro.
    International Polo: - 10 Feb - An exciting and action filled afternoon of polo in early February each year is held at the Nga Rakau Polo Ground, Kihikihi for the International Polo Day.
  • Plus many more.

Family visiting from out of town?

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 - perfect for all the extra family visiting from out of town, or to enjoy a staycation this summer.

  • 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 Hotel 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.

Family flying to Hamilton?

With daily direct flights from Wellington, Christchurch and more, it's easy for the extended family to fly home for the summer.


Activity Suggestions

Make the most of your summer 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 as seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies.
  • 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 a Eye2Eye encounter 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