• Middle-earth, Hobbiton Movie Set, Matamata, New Zealand
  • Te Waihou Walkway, Blue Spring, Putaruru
  • Hampton Downs Go Karts, Waikato NZ
  • Things to do in Raglan - Te Toto Gorge Walk

Explore Your Own Backyard this Winter

Don't hibernate this Winter, get out and explore your own backyard. With family friendly activities, free attractions, indoor fun and much more on offer, there is plenty to keep the entire family entertained these school holidays.

Waikato Museum Exscite Exhibition

Family Fun

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

Free attractions

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

Top 10 Winter Activities

From indulgent treats to keep you warm, to outdoor adventures to get the blood pumping, activities for the whole family and much more, check out the Top 10 Winter Activities in Hamilton & Waikato

SKYCITY Hamilton Bowl & Social

Indoor Fun

From educational exhibitions to ten-pin bowling and more - stay warm this winter with a range of indoor activity options.

Winter Events

From rugby to markets - there are plenty of great events happening in Hamilton & Waikato this winter.
Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari Walking Trails, Waikato, New Zealand

Walking Trails

From spectacular waterfalls to native forests - explore the variety of walks on offer in the Hamilton & Waikato region.

Hot Deals

Things to see & do

Upcoming Events

Winter Events in Hamilton & Waikato

From rugby and netball matches to cycle races, foodie events and more - make the most of your winter with these great events on throughout the Hamilton & Waikato region.

  • Matariki Events - 6 June - 14 July: Matariki is known as the Maori New Year and is marked by the rising of the cluster of stars named Pleiades. Check out the range of 2018 Matariki events on in the Hamilton & Waikato region.
  • Sister Act - 23 June - 7 July: Sister Act is the feel-good musical comedy smash based on the hit 1992 film that has audiences jumping to their feet! This uplifting musical was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
  • Gourmet Garage - 22 June - 27 July: An undercover winter food market offering your favourite gourmet vendors from Gourmet in the Gardens. Enjoy dinner, meet friends and family while enjoying live music every Friday, in the Claudelands Barn from 5.00pm -9.00pm. 
  • Waikato BOP Magic Home Games - June/July: The 2018 ANZ Premiership will see the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic Netball team take on the Northern Mystics, Mainland Tactix and Southern Steel at Claudelands Arena in Hamilton throughout June and July.
  • Hobbiton Movie Set Mid-Winter Feast - 6 July: Enjoy a magical evening in the Shire™ with the Mid-Winter Feast event at Hobbiton Movie Set. Imagine enjoying a mulled wine in front of the fireplace inside the Green Dragon™ Inn before indulging in a feast fit for a Hobbit. All this and more will be on the cards for the Hobbiton Movie Set Mid-Winter Feast.
  • Karioi Classic - 29 July: Take in Raglan's stunning vistas of farmland and ocean while conquering the Karioi Classic. Challenge yourself on this mountain bike race over a rich and varied landscape, encountering windy tracks, hilly slopes and gravel roads.
  • Okoroire Mid-Winter Fun Ride - 29 July: Brave the frosty winter morning and get your heart pumping with the Okoroire Mid-Winter Fun Ride.
  • Chiefs Home Games - July: The 2018 Investec Super Rugby season will see the mighty Chiefs take on the Brumbies and Hurricanes at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton this July.
  • Eureka: The Inventions of Archimedes - 3 March - 24 June: Waikato Museum is the exclusive New Zealand venue to host this international touring exhibition showcasing the inventions and scientific discoveries of Archimedes, the ‘Father of Modern Science’. Visitors will experience an absorbing journey through history featuring the machines of the ancient world. 
  • Waikato Museum July School Holiday Programme - 9 - 20 July: The Waikato Museum will be offering supervised programmes for ages 7-13 years only, 8.30am-5pm Monday to Friday. The programme includes 3D Book Scenes, Curiosity Boxes, no.8 wire artwork and much more. Early bookings are essential.
  • 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 cosy staycation this winter.

  • 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 direct flights daily from Wellington, Christchurch and more, it's easy for the extended family to fly home for a visit this winter.


Activity Suggestions

Family Activities in Hamilton

With fewer crowds around, winter is the perfect time to get out and explore your own backyard with these great activity suggestions. From underground wonders to wildlife encounters and much more.

  • Waitomo Glowworm CavesVisit the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves and gaze in awe at the galaxy of glowworms. PLUS: Check out their great Winter Deals
  • Hobbiton Movie SetDiscover movie magic with a guided tour through the permanent set as seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies. For an even more magical experience opt for an evening banquet tour.
  • Hamilton GardensExplore the award-winning Hamilton Gardens and discover different civilisations and historically important garden styles from the farthest reaches of the world. HINT: Pick up a free kids Discovery Trail activity sheet.
  • SKYCITY HamiltonCheck out SKYCITY Hamilton's new Bowl & Social for ten pin bowling, great food and timezone games, and pick up the 'Burger of the Month' from Eat Burger
  • Watiomo Adventures: Take the whole family on the new Troll Cave Waitomo experience or 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. HINT: Check out their 20% off deal
  • 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. HINT: Grab a family discount with this great deal
  • 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. HINT: Make the most of your visit with their 2-for-1 Deal
  • Plus much more.

Free Attractions

Wairere Falls Lookout, Waikato

From meandering through stunning gardens to discovering picturesque waterfalls and climbing to mountaintop views - there are plenty of free attractions to make the most of 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: (pictured) 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