From meandering through stunning gardens to discovering picturesque waterfalls and more - the Hamilton & Waikato region has plenty of free attractions to enjoy this summer.
- Waiorongomai Valley: (pictured above) 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
- Cycle Trails: From the banks of the Waikato River to the ancient Pureora Forest, there are many cycle trails to enjoy
- 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, Novtel 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 resturants and entertainment destinations.
- Bella Vista Hamilton: A short ride from the Hamilton section of Te Awa, Bella Vista Hamilton offers motel accommodation which caters for cyclists.
- Te Aroha Landing: Neslted on the banks of the Waihou River in Te Aroha, Te Aroha Landing is the prefect accommodation option for this riding the Hauraki Rail Trail.
- Plus many more options
Things to see and 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 Glowworms: 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
- Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari: Plentiful walks through native forest for close encounters with native birdlife and reptiles
- Animal Encounters: Get up close and personal with exotic animals such as Lemur and Rhino at Hamilton Zoo
- Middle-earth: Discover movie magic with a guided tour through the now permanent Hobbiton Movie Set
- Waikato River Explorer: Experience the unique beauty of the Waikato River with a cruise on the Waikato River Explorer
- Inner City Fun: Challenge family and friends to a friendly game of ten-pin bowling or enjoy the dining options on offer at SKYCITY Hamilton
- Zealong Tea Estate: Take some time for yourself and discover NZ's only Oolong Tea Plantation and enjoy high-tea at the cafe
- Waikato Museum: With great interactive children's exhibitions, the Waikato Museum is a perfect indoor activity
- Te Aroha Mineral Spas: Soothe those aching muscles after a long rider with a soak in the Te Aroha Mineral Spas.
- Retail Therapy: Get some retail therapy at NZ's largest shopping complex, Te Awa at The Base
- 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.
- Tri Maori Festival, Lake Karapiro - 21 Nov 2015: Participants can take part in the 3km Colour Run, 5km walk/run, 10km walk/run or one of the three triathlon courses at Lake Karapiro.
- Bridge to Bridge Waterski Classic, Hamilton - 27 - 29 Nov 2015: The Waikato, is the perfect setting for two days for the country's ;argest water-ski racing events, the "Bridge to Bridge".
- UCI Track Cycling World Cup, Cambridge - 4 - 6 Dec 2015: The world’s best track cyclists will descend on the Hamilton & Waikato region for the UCI Track Cycling World Cup held at the Avantidrome Cambridge.
- Fight For Life, Hamilton - 5 Dec 2015: The Burger King Fight for Life will see a line-up of league legends, rugby stars and celebrities clashing for your entertainment and a great cause.
- BlackCaps v Sri Lanka, Hamilton - 18 - 22 Dec 2015: The ANZ International Series will see the BLACKCAPS play Sri Lanka at Seddon Park in Hamilton.
- Soundsplash Music Festival, Raglan - 8 - 10 Jan 2016: Soundsplash is the 3-day summer music festival held in the Wainui Reserve in Raglan.
- Festival One, Mystery Creek - 29 Jan - 1 Feb 2016: Festival One is a multi-day Christian festival, which brings together music, creative arts and culture to create a community atmosphere within the festival
- Raglan Arts Weekend & Little Food Fest, Raglan - 30 Jan - 1 Feb 2016: Head to Raglan this Auckland Anniversary Weekend and experience the laidback vibe that has helped shape this thriving artistic community, with the Raglan Arts Weekend and Little Food Festival.