From beautiful beaches, berry picking, and vibrant sunflower and lavender fields to hundreds of kilometres of cycle trails, underground wonders and iconic festivals, Waikato's summer line up is bursting with reasons to come, stay, and play.Find out more
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.Find out more
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.Find out more
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.Find out more
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.Find out more
See & do in the Waikato
Raglan Kayak & Paddleboard
Whether you join our famous Kayak & Coffee excursion or hire kayaks with friends, you are only a short paddle away from New Zealand's best kept secret. Raglan Kayak and Paddleboard offers you world class excursions that are suitable for the whole family. Discover Raglan's stunning Limestone Coast, secluded bays, black sand beaches and cultural sites filled with a colourful history. Imerge yourself in & enjoy. Top quality equipment and professional briefings.
Cornerstone Alpaca Farm Tours
Cornerstone Alpaca Stud is conveniently located on a popular tourist route, just an hour drive from Auckland, and situated in the beautiful Gordonton village just 10 minutes from Hamilton. We enjoy welcoming people to our scenic alpaca farm for tours. With the Alpaca Farm Tour (90 minutes) you get to listen to our alpaca story, interact with our friendly alpacas, and feed them. You'll love them. You'll love your photos. Alpaca feed and free biscuit are included in the price. You can also do an Alpaca Feeding (every 30 minutes) if you are pressed for time. Visit our Alpaca Gift Shop and enjoy a bite from our onsite Licensed Cafe. Make a day trip and visit Cornerstone Alpaca Stud before heading off to Hobbiton or Rotorua.
Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
Step through the pest-proof gate into another world, where an ancient forest tower majestically above well-maintained walking tracks and the air is filled with birdsong. Explore the Sanctuary at your own pace or with an experienced guide who will help you spot the wildlife, including Kākā, takahē, tuatara, kiwi, tīeke and more. Relax in the clearing or take an optional walk up the 16-metre observation tower, offering a unique perspective from within the forest canopy. Sanctuary Mountain is located in the heart of the Waikato, and as a not-for-profit, every visit helps make our conservation efforts possible. So come and share the mauri and mana of Maungatautari. You will come away enriched and enlightened by this spectacular environment.
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What's on in the Waikato
Waikato Summer Events Guide 2024
Explore Waikato's great line-up of events this summer, they're just magic! From unmissable international matches and legendary live concerts to epic dining experiences, interactive shows and family-friendly festivals or days out - make the most of all the exciting events happening around the Waikato this summer!Find out more
Top places to stay in the Waikato
Te Karaka Lodge
Te Karaka Lodge is a brand new architecturally designed luxury lodge offering the perfect location for those looking to escape into nature surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. The lodge offers 10 guest lodgings for an intimate and hosted experience. Truly a place to unwind and the perfect escape to connect with nature and experience the stunning beauty of rural New Zealand. The Lodge facilities include a decadent outdoor heated spa swimming pool, lawn games, outdoor fireplace and barbeque and several verandas on which to to relax and absorb the sound of native birdsong. Interior spaces include a large lounge and dining area with bar and cosy fireplace for those chillier morning and evenings.
Ibis Tainui Hamilton
Ibis Tainui Hamilton boasts the city’s best location, in the CBD on the banks of the Waikato River. The hotel presents the only restaurant in the city with breath taking views of the Waikato River - a great place to enjoy unique local flavours. Reopened in November 2022 after a full refurbishment, the hotel is the ideal choice for your next stay in Hamilton.
Jet Park Hotel Hamilton Airport
Ideally located a short walk to Hamilton Airport Terminal, experience authentic New Zealand hospitality and enjoy 4-star hotel accommodation including pet-friendly rooms. The 61 rooms have been completely refurbished and suites contain a kitchenette and living room. Children under 12 stay free with an adult at no extra charge. Complimentary parking, bistro restaurant and café, gym, outdoor pool, sauna, tennis court and WIFI are some of the many features on offer. Our unique destination in the countryside paired with our immaculate attention to detail, means that your stay will be more than just a bed for the night. Located close to Mystery Creek and Fieldays, we are the ideal place to book when attending an event there.
Top Ice Cream Places in the Waikato
In the Waikato region, which is the dairy farming heartland of the country and where berries and many other kinds of fruit are cultivated, you’re never far from a shop or eatery serving up ice cream.Find out more