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Itineraries

Explore Hamilton by Train: 2 days, 1 night

Te Huia connects Auckland and Waikato with a two hours train trip through picturesque countryside. Travellers can enjoy the cafe, free WiFi, luggage storage and air conditioning features of Te Huia on their way from Auckland to Hamilton passing Papakura, and Huntly on the way.

Once in Hamilton, visitors can explore the city in a variety of ways. Some itinerary suggestions are below:

Day 1: Auckland to Hamilton


Hamilton Gardens, Char Bagh
Suite, Novotel Tainui Hamilton, Hamilton, Waikato, NZ

Take Te Huia from The Strand, Puhunui or Papakura station. View timetable options here. Travel time 90 minutes from Papakura to Rotokauri.

  • Te Huia’s Rotokauri Station means you step directly into Hamilton’s largest shopping destination. Explore the 190 + stores or grab a bite to eat at one of the cafes.
  • Take the Comet bus into Hamilton’s CBD and drop your bags at one of the many accommodation options in the city before heading out to explore the city in the afternoon. Alternatively, Hamilton Transport centre offers baggage storage.
  • Take Bus 17 to Hamilton Gardens and spend the afternoon exploring the award-winning gardens that showcase history, context and meaning of gardens. Themed gardens range from English flowers, modernist, Italian renaissance and Chinese scholar to tropical, picturesque, fantasy, sustainable backyard and the traditional Māori productive garden, Te Parapara. Each tells a story and offers an insight into a different civilisation.
  • Travel back to Hamilton City centre and relax with a locally brewed craft beer or locally grown tea. For dinner, have your pick of hatted restaurants or more relaxed eateries. We love Gothenburg, Palate, Paddock to Plate or the Local Taphouse.

Stay in Hamilton city. Novotel or Ramada Hotel are great options in the city centre.

Day 2: Hamilton to Auckland


  • Hamilton cafes such the River Kitchen, Cream Eatery and Scott’s Epicurean offer many delicious breakfast options. Grab a bite to eat to enjoy by the river or sit down and enjoy the atmosphere.
  • Explore historical exhibitions and contemporary art at Waikato Museum and ArtsPost. Te Winika is the waka taua (war canoe) that makes a welcoming statement and is on permanent display. Next door to the museum is ArtsPost showcasing the best local artists in ever-changing exhibitions.
  • Continue to learn about Hamilton’s rich past with a self-guided historic walking tour or mosey around boutique stores and art galleries of the European-styled Casabella Lane.
  • For lunch, enjoy one of Casabella Lane’s cafes.
  • From Casabella Lane, it’s a short walk across the road to the transport station where you can take the Comet Bus back to the Base Shopping Centre and the Rotokauri Train Station to catch the Te Huia train back to Auckland. View the Te Huia departure timetable here.