• Things to do in Hamilton & Waikato
  • Accommodation in Hamilton

Make the most of your Short Escape in the Hamilton & Waikato region

From family adventures to underground wonders and everything in between - make the most of your next Short Escape with the great activities and attractions on offer in the Hamilton & Waikato region

Free Attractions in Waikato, Hamilton Gardens

Free Attractions

Experience the wonders and hidden gems of the region on any budget with the range of free attractions on offer in Hamilton & Waikato.
Paddleboarding in Raglan, NZ
Adventure Time

On the water Fun

From kayaking and paddleboarding to surfing and more
Hobbiton Movie Set, Matamat NZ

Top Attractions

From underground wonders to Middle-earth movie magic and much more...

Sanctuary Mountain, Te Awamutu, Waikato, New Zealand
Exploring Time

Outdoor Adventures

Top walking & cycling tracks
Family Friendly Activities
Fun Time

Family Friendly Activities

From animal encounters to ten pin bowling - discover family friendly activities in Hamilton & Waikato
Sharing Time

Dining Options

From great local cafes to award-winning restaurants

Hot Deals

Things to see and do

Upcoming Events

Events in Hamilton & Waikato - Gourmet in the Gardens

From gourmet food markets to multi-sport events, festivals and more - make the most of your Short Escape with these great events on throughout the Hamilton & Waikato region.

  • Gourmet in the Gardens - 28 October 18 - 24 March 19: With the arrival of the start of daylight savings, Gourmet in the Gardens are back! From mid-October until March 2019, the region’s best food trucks descend on the Hamilton Gardens to delight the punters eagerly awaiting tasty tucker on sunny Sunday afternoons.
  • Armistice in Cambridge - 10 -11 November 18: The Mighty River Domain at Lake Karapiro will play host to the Armistice in Cambridge commemorating the end of the First World War and New Zealand’s involvement in the battle at Le Quesnoy, Cambridge’s sister-town in France.
  • Summer of Cricket - Nov 18 - Feb 19: 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. Matches include Blackcaps v India, Blackcaps v Bangladesh and many more.
  • Tri-Maori Festival - 24 November: The Tri-Maori Festival challenges Maori & the wider community to get the entire whanau (family) active and celebrate healthy living. Held at the Lake Karapiro Domain, the Tri-Māori Festival has a number of events to suit every fitness level.
  • Hamilton Fringe Festival - 1 - 8 December: An ingenious smorgasbord of quality and affordable arts entertainment. This festival continues to attract the best creative minds of the wider community.
  • Soundsplash Music Festival - 18 - 20 January 2019: Soundsplash is a three day summer festival of music, freedom and expression, held in the Wainui reserve in Raglan.
  • Festival One - 25 - 28 January 2019: A multi-day Christian festival, which brings together music, creative arts and culture to create a community atmosphere within the festival.
  • Fatboy Slim - 25 January 2019: Fatboy Slim will be coming to Hamilton's Claudelands Arena on Friday 25 January 2019. Paired with the HSBC NZ Sevens the same weekend - its set to be an action packed few days in the Waikato.
  • HSBC NZ Sevens - 26 - 27 January 2019: Hamilton City is set to host the New Zealand leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series from 26 - 27 January 2019.
  • Plus many more...

Accommodation Options

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.

  • Novotel Tainui Hamilton: (pictured) 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.
  • Distinction Hamilton 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.
  • Kelly Rd: Contemporary, luxury accommodation including studio units and one/two bedroom apartments located 5 minutes from Cambridge.

Flying to Hamilton?

With daily direct flights from Wellington, Christchurch and more, flying to Hamilton will get you to your Short Escape faster.


Activity Suggestions

Top Activities & Attractions in Hamilton & Waikato

Make the most of your spring adventures 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. Grab a Cave combo deal and visit the Ruakuri Cave (pictured above) as well.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Waitomo Adventures: Get your adrenaline pumping with a zipline, abseil or black water rafting trip with Waitomo Adventures, or try their newest family friendly tour, the Troll Cave.
  • Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari: Discover 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 and get the blood pumping with a V8 Muscle Car or Supercar experience.
  • Zealong Tea EstateTreat yourself to a high tea overlooking the stunning tea plantation.
  • Lake District Adventures: Take a magical glowwom kayak tour on Lake Karapiro, or hire some bikes to explore the Waikato River Trails.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Go Skydive: Get your adrenaline pumping with a skydive from up to 13,000ft, providing stunning views of the Waikato region below.
  • 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 in Hamilton & Waikato.

  • 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