Matariki 2024

  1. Visitors
  2. Events
  3. Matariki
14 June - 28 July 2024

Gather your whanau and friends to celebrate Matariki in the Waikato with events planned across the Waikato between 14 June and 28 July.

Activity Suggestions

Make the most of your visit to the Mighty Waikato with these great activity suggestions. From underground wonders and Middle-earth Movie Magic to wildlife encounters, indoor activities and much more.

Indoor Activities:

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!
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 Waikato Museum

Waikato Museum

Haere mai! Welcome to Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato. Perched above the mighty Waikato River, this world-class museum and art gallery is the artistic and cultural heart of the Waikato. Visit us to experience visual stories and guided activities that bring our art, history, culture and science to life through an inspirational programme that aims to challenge and inspire you.
top pick Avantidrome

Grassroots Trust Velodrome

Experience riding on a velodrama with our Have A Go sessions. An accredited coach will fit you with a bike and helmet and will expertly guide you through your session on the track. The session is one hour in duration and no matter what skill or fitness level you are, our coaches are experienced in tailoring your experience that’s safe but challenging enough just for you. Bike, helmet and coach provided.

Outdoor Activities:

top pick Waitomo Adventures Ltd
Waitomo Caves

Lost World Half Day Option - 100m Abseil & Cave Exploration

The descent takes around 20 minutes of 4 hours required. Abseil alongside your instructor who provides information, reassurance and a backup safety tether. Imagine freehanging in a massive void bouncing a bit & turning - look into upper levels of the cave. Weird plants & formations cling to the sheer walls and the roar of the Mangapu River echoes up from far below. One guide looks after up to 4 people - who all make their unforgettable descent together down through the surreal mists and eventually landing in the base of this massive cavern. Once down, take in the awesome views before starting on an even more amazing trip back to the surface. Climb over massive slabs of rock and a series of ladders.
top pick Cornerstone Alpaca Farm Tours

Cornerstone Alpaca Tours

Yoour one stop Alpaca Farm Cafe, Shop & Venue. A fun thing to do in Hamilton and a great tourist attraction. Experience the kiwi alpaca lifestyle. We enjoy welcoming visitors to our beautiful Waikato farm in the picturesque Gordonton Village, New Zealand. Meet our friendly alpacas, visit our Alpaca Gift Shop, and enjoy a bite from our onsite Licensed Café. Our stunning country barn, Granero, is available for functions and weddings with onsite catering from Cornerstone Kitchen. The farm is conveniently located on a popular tourist route between Auckland, Matamata (40 min) and Rotorua (90 min). We're 1 hour from Auckland, 5 min from Zealong and 15 minutes from Hamilton Gardens. Ideal for a family day trip to rural Waikato.
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 Corin Walker-Bain
Waitomo Caves

Spellbound Glowworm and Cave Tours

Our first priority is to take you in a small group so we can personalize your experience, our next is to give you the best possible opportunity to see and appreciate everything these exceptional caves offer. A close look at glowworms is a great way to start the tour, our guides can explain and show you everything. Giving you lots of time with the lights out, your eyes will fully adjust to the many thousands of small lights above, then an unhurried boat ride beneath them will simply amaze you. Short walks and warm refreshments are a great way to appreciate the beautiful surrounding above the caves and lastly a visit to the Cave of the Spirit is a really wonderful way to picture Waitomo’s treasure trove of ancient mysteries and stories.
top pick Hamilton Waikato Tourism

Woodlands Estate - Homestead, Gardens, Venue, Cafe

Welcoming Guests Through Our Doors Since 1872. Woodlands Estate was established as a 98,000-acre estate purchased from The Crown by The Piako Swamp Company for 2/6 (25 cents) an acre. The Homestead, restored to its former glory, was initially built as a Manager's residence between 1875 and 1881. It is primarily made of Kauri and still features some original weatherboards and roof iron. Woodlands Estate is looked after by a not-for-profit trust, with the gardens being well-maintained by the Waikato District Council. The overall historic and aesthetic value of the homestead and gardens has been maintained thanks to generous donations and voluntary time. The Trust extends its gratitude for the generous support of the community over the years.
top pick

Riverside Adventures Bike Hire and Shuttle Service

You don't need to worry about transport or gear while you're here.

Whether you're on one of our tours or doing your own thing, our shuttle service is available to pick up and drop off any adventurers at any river trail or alternate point in our surrounding areas.

If you're after gear hire, we have you covered too! We've got regular bikes, e-bikes and accessories to really make a day of it.

Shuttle service
- Te Awa River Ride
- Hauraki Rail Trail
- The Timber Trail

Bike & e-Bike Hire
Available from our shop at the Velodrome in Cambridge

top pick Discover Waitomo
Waitomo Caves

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

The Waitomo region is home to unforgettable sightseeing attractions. Enjoy the world famous boat ride under thousands of magical glowworms and become a part of over 125 years of cultural and natural history. Our expert guides will draw you into this awesome environment, sharing the Caves' historical and geological significance. World renowned and a magnet for both local and overseas visitors, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves occupy a high placing in the New Zealand vacation wish-list. More than 30 million years ago, the legend of Waitomo began with the creation of limestone at the bottom of the ocean. Now these limestone formations stand as one of New Zealand's most inspiring natural wonders and a must-see destination.
top pick Hampton Downs Motorsport Park
Te Kauwhata

Hampton Downs Motorsport Park & Events Centre

The now-famous Hampton Downs Go Karts are an adrenaline pumping experience on the undulating 530m outdoor track. Our big track experiences include hot laps in a Lamborghini Huracan or a hot lap in our brand new TA2 a genuine V8 Mustang Race Car, drive a V8 Muscle Car, drive a Radical SR3, and a Lexus Safety Car ride for the whole family. Also on offer is our Jeep Wrangler 4WD experience. Other attractions at Hampton Downs include Mad Mike Whiddett’s Mad Lab, the Toyota Racing Series "Live Workshop" and the McLaren Heritage Centre. Don't miss our very own car show, Caffeine and Gasoline held on the last Sunday of each month and if you want to get your own car out on our many tracks check out Auto Addict on our website. Award-winning coffee.
top pick Hamilton & Waikato Tourism

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.
top pick Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
Te Awamutu

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.
top pick Hobbiton Movie Set

Hobbiton™ Movie Set Tours

Experience Middle-earth with a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set, featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films. Your guided tour starts with a drive through our picturesque 1,250 acre sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges. Journey past the colourful Hobbit Hole™ doors that scatter the hillsides, including the iconic Bag End, home of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, before arriving at Bagshot Row™ for a glimpse of the interior of a humble Hobbit’s home. Continue along the pathways past The Millhouse, across the double-arch stone bridge and into the world-famous Green Dragon™ Inn, where you will enjoy a complimentary, exclusive beverage Hobbit™ Southfarthing™ range to conclude your Middle-earth adventure.

Visiting from out of town?

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.

top pick Capstone Hotel Management

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.
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

The Lakehouse at Takapoto Estate

The pantry and fridge are stocked with breakfast items that were produced and harvested from the Estate's own chickens, bees, Angus beef, vineyard, olive trees and market garden, making for a truly unique and memorable experience.

Whether you're looking to relax and take in the natural beauty of the surroundings or explore all that the region has to offer, The Lakehouse is the perfect place to stay.

top pick Hotel & Suites by Wyndham

Ramada by Wyndham, Hamilton City Centre

The very first Days Hotel & Suites by Wyndham to open in New Zealand has now taken up residence in the lovely and elegant property on the corner of Victoria and Collingwood Streets. Situated in the pulsating heart of Hamilton’s bustling CBD, the hotel puts guests in the heart of the action. The Days Hotel & Suites by Wyndham Hamilton, is a modern hotel set in a historic 19th-century building, offering 69 guest rooms and suites for every kind of traveller. Each air-conditioned guestroom includes LCD TVs with free to air TV channels, tea and coffee-making facilities. Across in the apartment wing, the apartment-style accommodation, rooms feature either a kitchenette or a fully equipped kitchen. Days Hotel & Suites Hamilton has you covered.
top pick ibis Tainui Hamilton

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.
top pick Jet Park Hotels

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 pick

Castaways Resort

Enjoy ocean front studio or chalet accommodation. All accommodation has sea views, super king beds, wireless internet, Sky TV, kitchenettes as well as private decks.

Select one of Castaways Resorts popular Packages combining accommodation, dining and your choice of activities or pampering or just come and stay the night and relax. Facilities include: Castaways Restaurant & Bar - award winning cliff top restaurant open 7 days for breakfast, lunch and dinner and afternoon dining experiences. Bookings required.

Bersantai Day Spa - for all of your pampering needs. Adventures - archery, clay shooting, combat arrow tag and frisbee golf.

Facilities and Features

Conference Facilities
Disabled Access
Internet (Public Use)
Licensed Bar
Room Service

top pick Open2View

Podium Lodge

Podium Lodge has been designed specifically for athletes to support their training or performance ambitions but we welcome anyone looking to stay in a spacious and modern facility with a sporting vibe. This 86 bed accommodation facility is situated on the northern fringe of Cambridge with access to local world class sporting and recreational facilities. 20 minutes from Hamilton Airport, minutes from Cambridge town and a gateway to numerous regional attractions. Whatever the reason for your visit, Podium Lodge is a complete accommodation experience with a team committed to ensuring your stay is a memorable one. We are not for profit and all proceeds are returned to the community.
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.
top pick Distinction Hotels

Distinction Hamilton Hotel

Distinction Hamilton Hotel is a favourite with business travellers and holiday makers alike. Located only minutes from the Hamilton city centre and offering 147 comfortable, air-conditioned rooms and suites as well as free unlimited WIFI. Refurbished Superior Rooms & Suites offer a modern, chic & contemporary vibe. The hotel also offers a fully equipped gym which guests can enjoy complimentary access to, during their stay. Waterworld - a multi-pool facility and the largest swimming complex in the Waikato region is conveniently located just a few minutes walk from Distinction Hamilton Hotel on Garnett Avenue. The hotel's popular Garnett's Restaurant is open for breakfast & dinner daily.
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 Waitomo TOP 10 Holiday Park
Waitomo Caves

Waitomo TOP 10 Holiday Park

An award winning park, within walking distance to the glow-worm caves and all Waitomo's activities. Accommodation ranges from motels to cabins, motorhome/caravan and tent sites. We have a swimming pool, hot tub, playground, wifi, covered barbecues, trampolines, and lots of space. Communal Sky TV Lounge and adjoining reading/relaxation room. Stay here while visiting the glowworm caves, black-water rafting, abseiling, ziplining, hiking local bush walks or, just come for a relaxing break. With great eateries all within a stroll you'll be sure to find something to suit. The award winning HuHu Cafe next door, The General Store Cafe across the road and Tomo's bar just round the corner.

Flying to Hamilton?

With direct flights daily from Wellington, Christchurch and more, it's easy for the extended family to fly to the Waikato for a visit this summer.