Waikato Farmers markets
Waikato Farmers markets are a great way to sample some of the region’s finest and freshest produce and to meet some of the people who produce the tasty food New Zealand is famous for.
Many Waikato towns have their own local market. Things to do in Cambridge include the Cambridge Farmers’ Market, held every Saturday morning. Start your weekend by visiting the market, then enjoy a picnic or a stroll along the Waikato River. On Sunday, why not head down to Hamilton farmers market for some delicious breakfast options. This market began in 2006 with just 15 stallholders and has since blossomed to include everything from hand-crafted breads and pastries to artisan butchers and gourmet dog-treats.
Pirongia market combines art, craft and food stalls, while the Te Awamutu Twilight Farmers’ Market offers everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to trees and seedlings. At Hamilton night market, held in the K-mart car park every Saturday night, there are food stalls offering international cuisine, fashion and jewellery stalls, as well as live bands.
The Kawhia Kai Festival
Held in February each year, on the scenic Kawhia foreshore, this must-see event showcases a feast of traditional Māori kai (food) such as the traditional hangi served in kono (flax serving basket). Visitors can also see artists working in traditional Māori art forms, such as flax weaving, cloak making, wood carving and stone sculpting.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/kawhiakai
Great New Zealand Food Show
One of the top Hamilton attractions for foodies is the Great New Zealand Food Show, held in May each year. The show features cooking demonstrations by well-known local and national chefs and personalities.
Chefs also compete in an event where they have 20 minutes to create the most delicious dish as voted by the show audience, not to mention a variety of other great events, exhibitors and all things foodie over the weekend of the show.
For more information visit www.greatnzfoodshow.co.nz
Gourmet in the Gardens
A visit to Gourmet in the Gardens ranks amongst the most fun things to do in Hamilton over summer. Started in 2015, this Sunday twilight food market held in the Hamilton Gardens runs from November to March.
Up to 30 food vendors set up stalls during the event and the choice of foods is impressive and eclectic. Whether it’s Jamaican, Korean, Argentinian or Vietnamese fare you’re into, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your taste buds. And many of the vendors are chefs from around New Zealand.
Most of all, it’s a wonderful way to while away a Sunday evening, with people travelling regularly from around the Waikato region to partake. Take along a picnic blanket, share a platter of food and enjoy live music and children’s entertainment.
For more information visit www.facebook.com/gourmet-in-the-gardens
A specialty artisan night market, Alfresco Bites boasts a variety of food caravans and entertainment on Friday evenings in the Leamington Domain, Cambridge.
Running from November to March each year, this family friendly event offers cooking demonstrations, live performers and more.
For more information visit www.facebook.com/alfrescobites
A celebration the Hamilton & Waikato region's beer and cheese makers, Ferment Fest is held in October each year, bringing together some of the region's top craft brewers alongside award-winning cheese makers.
Other great events include the Matariki Dish Challenge and more.