Welcome to the

Mighty Waikato

A geographically and culturally diverse region, the Waikato has a range of activities and attractions to suit all ages and tastes – from our vibrant city hub of Hamilton to the rugged west coast, underground wonders and middle-earth movie magic.

Underground Wonders

Millions of years in the making, the region’s caves, including the world-famous ones at Waitomo, provides a playground unlike any other. As if it’s not enough that nature has carved out a glowworm-studded underground marvel, enterprising locals have added adventure activities to enhance the experience further.
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Experience the real Middle-earth

If the Shire is at the heart of Middle-earth, then the Waikato is at the heart of the Shire. When scouting around for settings for his epic three movie adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Kiwi director Peter Jackson found just what he was looking for in the green rolling paddocks, rugged limestone outcrops and underground caverns of the Waikato region.
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Lavender farms in the Waikato

Blooms are at their best in the region – and totally Instagram-worthy – from mid-November until late January and often into February, depending on when individual lavender farms harvest their flowers to make essential oil.
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Walking & Hiking Trails in the Waikato

From casual strolls along the river to overnight bush excursions and winding mountain tracks, the Waikato region has a variety of great walking trails to suit everyone. Meander alongside the Waikato River or get the pulse racing climbing to an inspirational mountain top view.
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Waikato Waterfalls

Breathtaking views are available everywhere in the Waikato region, which is home to a number of waterfall features. From short tracks that provide stunning waterfalls, to hikes, there is a perfect destination for all waterfall lovers in the Waikato.
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See & do in the Waikato

top pick Zealong Tea Estate

Zealong Tea Estate

Experience our popular Signature High Tea curated with a selection of hand-crafted gourmet sweets and savouries or our selection of mains and desserts. Add to your experience with the perfect pairing of Zealong tea to compliment your selection. Whether you enjoy a refreshing green, a floral oolong, or a bold black, we have the perfect tea for you – all organically grown and proudly made in New Zealand. Our menu changes regularly and the images shown on our website will not always show what is available.
top pick Hamilton Gardens

Hamilton Gardens

Hamilton Gardens is the Waikato’s most visited attraction with more than one million visitors each year. Visitors are guided on a journey of discovery along paths delivering mysterious surprises: step from a peaceful Sung Dynasty Chinese Scholar’s garden into an Italian Renaissance Garden, before being enthralled by the grandeur of the Indian Char Bagh (‘four quartered’) Garden. Through breath-taking themed garden collections, Hamilton Gardens explores different civilisations, and recreates historically important garden styles from the farthest reaches of the world.
top pick SkyCity Hamilton

SkyCity Hamilton

SkyCity Hamilton is situated inside the former Chief Post Office, in a building designed to maximise a superb riverside location on the banks of the Waikato River. With a range of dining and entertainment outlets, including EATBurger - voted the Waikato's best burger and The Local Taphouse - the first Good George bar in the CBD, there is something for everyone at SkyCity Hamilton! Enjoy the excitement and atmosphere of the Main Gaming Floor with over 300 gaming machines and 23 table games (R20 to enter the casino) or strike up a little competition on level two with Hamilton's only bowling alley, Bowl and Social, a world-class venue offering non-stop fun and state of the art technology!
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Pick Your Own Berries season is now open!

Make the most of this season by visiting one of many of the Waikato region’s berry farms and orchards where you can pick your own strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, summer fruits and more!
Pick Your Own Fruit
What's on in the Waikato

Top places to stay in the Waikato

top pick Mauro Risch

Hidden Lake Hotel and Apartments

Hidden Lake Hotel is a boutique slice of contemporary New Zealand immersed in treed north island nature typical to the region. It’s difficult to believe you are so close to Hamilton Airport and all that the Waikato has to offer. Contemporary styling is a feature of rooms and apartments with superior appointments and technical luxuries. Everything is well thought out and delivered with on-trend hospitality. Expect a high level of service without fuss. Down to earth as is the New Zealand way. Enjoy the designer interiors and scenic outlooks while being pampered with share plates, local wines and spa treatments.
top pick Scenic Hotel Group

Heartland Ambassador Hotel Hamilton

Located in the heart of the city amidst shopping, entertainment and the CBD, Heartland Ambassador Hotel Hamilton is within a short walking distance to Waikato Stadium, Claudelands Event Centre, Seddon Park cricket grounds and only 20 minutes from Hamilton Airport. Relax in one of 51 guestrooms all with complimentary WIFI, cool off in the pool, enjoy a hearty buffet breakfast in the on-site restaurant and wander along the river boardwalks not far from here, Heartland Ambassador Hotel Hamilton is the ultimate location for the corporate traveller to large sporting or tour groups looking for that iconic touch.
top pick Novotel Tainui Hamilton

Novotel Tainui Hamilton

Novotel Tainui Hamilton is perfectly located in the heart of Hamilton’s dynamic CBD. Only a short distance to Hamilton’s attractions, entertainment & major convention facilities and with easy access to the airport, the best of the city is at your doorstep. With this iconic hotel in the CBD, Hamilton is able to project itself as a destination for events & exhibitions, providing the service and quality required for its international travellers. The hotel provides 217 well equipped rooms as well as extensive conference facilities for up to 300 delegates. Featuring adequate onsite parking, gym, sauna, restaurant and bar, the hotel also has a strong commitment to the environment and is dedicated to achieve environmental and social activities.

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