Short Escapes

Get closer to the action in Hamilton & Waikato

From an impressive line-up of events to top activities & attractions - there is plenty to see and do on a short break in the Hamilton & Waikato region.


From sporting events such as Equidays and The Taniwha, to live shows, gourmet markets and much more

Dining Options

From craft breweries and burger bars to tapas and more - find a dining option to suit your style
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.

Waikato River Trails, Cycling, Waikato, NZ

Cycle Trails

There are hundreds of kilometres of trail to discover, offering riders a close-up look at the region's picturesque scenery and fascinating past. From the Waikato River Trails and the Timber Trail to the Hauraki Rail Trail, the Te Awa River Ride and many more...


From B&Bs to motels, hotel, holiday homes and more
Sanctuary Mountain, Te Awamutu, Waikato, New Zealand

Top Attractions

From Middle-earth movie magic to walking trails, beachside escapes and more - find things to see and do in Hamilton & Waikato

Hot Deals

Don't Miss

Things To See & 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 Glowworm Caves: 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
  • Hamilton Zoo: Get up close and personal with exotic animals such as Lemur, Rhino and more.
  • Hamilton Gardens: Explore the history of gardens through time. Plus download and follow the Hamilton Gardens Children's Discovery Trail activity sheet.
  • Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari: Plentiful walks through native forest for close encounters with native birdlife and reptiles.
  • Middle-earth Movie Magic: Discover movie magic with a guided tour through the now permanent Hobbiton Movie Set.
  • SKYCITY Hamilton: Enjoy the range of dining options found inside SKYCITY Hamilton - from Spanish style tapas to cocktail bars and more.
  • Waikato Museum: With great interactive children's exhibitions, the Waikato Museum is a perfect indoor activity.
  • Retail Therapy: Get some retail therapy at NZ's largest shopping complex, Te Awa at The Base.
  • Raglan Rock: Get the adrenalin pumping with a rock climbing adventure with Raglan Rock
  • Lake District Adventures: Take a magical glowwom kayak tour on Lake Karapiro, or hire some bikes to explore the many trails on offer.
  • Plus much more

Free Attractions

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cycle Trails: Ride along the Waikato River Trails, Hauraki Rail Trail or Timber Trail or opt for one of the many great mountain bike parks.
  • Mokena Geyser: Watch the world's only naturally hot soda water geyser erupt every 40 minutes in Te Aroha.
  • Plus much more

Upcoming Events

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.

  • Equidays: 14 - 16 Oct - The annual Equidays event will showcase all aspects of the equine industry, business and recreation at Mystery Creek Events Centre.
  • Arohanui Film Festival: 28 - 30 Oct - The Arohanui Film Festival will brings a range of entertaining, original and adventurous films from around the world.
  • Hamilton Gardens Scarecrow Festival: 30 Oct - Check out the unique entries at the Hamilton Gardens Scarecrow Festival.
  • Grease - the musical: 3 Nov - Grease, the musical is heading to Hamilton’s Claudelands Arena on Saturday 5th November.
  • Gourmet in the Gardens: Oct - March - Enjoy food from around the globe at the popular Gourmet in the Gardens food market, every Sunday from 16th October.
  • The Taniwha multisport event: 5 Nov - This inaugural event consists of five Mountain Bike categories, five off-road Trail Run categories, three off-road Trail Walk categories and a team Relay Mountain Bike and Relay Trial Run.
  • ANZ International Cricket Series: Nov - Mar -  Support the BlackCaps as they take on Pakistan, Australia and South Africa in the ANZ International Series at Seddon Park.
  • Round the Bridges: 13 Nov - One of the oldest contested running events in NZ, Round the Bridges is open to runners, joggers, walkers and wheelchair athletes.
  • Tri Maori Festival: 26 Nov - This year marks the 5th annual TriMaori Festival, with three triathlon courses and two walk/run events for participants to choose from.
  • Bridge to Bridge Waterski Classic: 2 - 4 Dec - NZ’s longest river, the Waikato, is the perfect setting for two days of adrenalin-charged racing waterski racing.
  • Soundsplash: 20 - 22 Jan 2017 - With music, sun, sand and surf on the agenda, Soundsplash is the epitome of a summer festival.


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.
  • 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.
  • Plus many more options

Flying to Hamilton

With direct daily flights from Wellington, Christchurch and most major NZ destinations - its easy to fly directly to Hamilton Airport. Pick up a rental car from the likes of Hertz Hamilton after your flight and get to your holiday faster.