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 with your family in the Hamilton & Waikato region
- 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
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 Gruffalo: 21 Oct - The award winning picture book The Gruffalo comes to life on stage live at Claudelands Arena this 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.
- Soundsplash: 20 - 22 Jan 2017 - With music, sun, sand and surf on the agenda, Soundsplash is the epitome of a summer festival.
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.
- Hot Water Beach Kawhia: Head to the end of Ocean Beach road at low tide, start digging to create your very own natural hot water spa right there in the sand.
- Plus much more
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 great options for family accommodation - Check out their kids stay free deal.
- 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.