Check out the full line-up of events on during the Balloons Over Waikato Festival, from mass morning ascensions to evening shows, community events and much more.
More great things to see and do
If you are visiting from out of town for the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival, why not explore the city and region while you are here. With everything from underground adventure and Middle-earth movie magic to wildlife encounters and more - there are plenty of great activities to enjoy.
- Free Attractions: From great walking trails and parks to explore, to spectacular waterfalls and more - explore the region on any budget with the great free attractions on offer.
- Waitomo Glowworm Caves: Visit 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 as well.
- Hobbiton Movie Set: Discover movie magic with a guided tour through the permanent set as seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies.
- Hamilton Gardens: Explore the award-winning Hamilton Gardens and discover different civilisations and historically important garden styles from the farthest reaches of the world.
- SkyCity Hamilton: Check 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 Zoo: Get up close and personal with exotic animals such as Lemur and Rhino with a Face2Face encounter at Hamilton Zoo.
- Waikato Museum: With top art, history and interactive kids exhibitions the Waikato Museum is a perfect indoor activity for the entire family.
- Hampton Downs: Challenge 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 Estate: Treat 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 Surf School: Learn to surf on Raglan's world famous left-hand surf breaks.
- Good George Brewery: Learn 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.
- Escapist: Can you escape in 60 minutes? Get your brain working with immersive escape rooms and check out their board game cafe in the heart of Hamilton.
- Sculpture Park: Take a walk along the beautiful 2km art-in-nature trail and discover more than 100 sculptures and rare trees along the way.
- 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 all the creature comforts of a large hotel.
- Distinction Hotel 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.
- Hidden Lake Hotel & Apartments: Boutique and contemporary accommodation situated in the heritage town of Cambridge. Relax with delicious share plates and local wines, treat yourself to a spa treatment and enjoy the beautiful views.
- Jet Park Hotel Hamilton Airport: Conveniently located adjacent to Hamilton Airport. Enjoy a quiet setting, home-style food, and replenishing outdoor spaces.
Flying to Hamilton?
With daily direct flights from Wellington, Christchurch and more, flying to Hamilton will get you to your Short Escape faster.
- Find Flights: Fly direct to Hamilton airport.
- Hertz Hamilton: Grab a rental car from Hertz Hamilton, located at Hamilton Airport.
- Plus many more options