A geographically and culturally diverse area, the Waikato region has a range of activities and attractions to suit all ages and tastes - from surfing world-class breaks to underground wonders and middle-earth movie magic. Check out the articles and experiences below for a more in-depth look at some of the region’s top activities & attractions.

Raglan Surfing School, Raglan, NZ

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Middle-earth Movie Magic

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.
Waitomo Glowworms Cave

Underground Wonders

Weirdly wonderful, an underground world of limestone caves lies below the native forest and farmland of the Waitomo region in the Waikato.

Walking & Hiking Trails

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.
Lego at Waikato Museum, Hamilton

Family Fun

Make the most of family outings and holidays with the abundance of family-friendly activities in the Waikato, whether it’s urban adventures, the great outdoors, water experiences or getting up close and personal with wildlife.
The Timber Trail, Waitomo


A trip to the Waikato region isn’t complete without a few days spent exploring by bike. There are hundreds of kilometres of trail to discover, offering riders a close-up look at the region's picturesque scenery and fascinating past.
Kayaking on Lake Karapiro, Cambridge, New Zealand

Water Activities

Whether kayaking, surfing, river cruising, fishing or soaking in natural hot springs, water activities abound in the Waikato region.

Metropolitan Vibe

At the heart of the Waikato region are its towns and main city of Hamilton, one of New Zealand’s fastest growing and most vibrant cities. All come with great shops and galleries, fantastic eateries with top events and visitor attractions to match.
Waka on Waikato River, Waikato, New Zaland

Culture and Heritage

How better to experience a region than by its culture? And in the Waikato region, a rich Maori and Pakeha heritage means you can really feel like you’ve imbibed the spirit of the place. The Waikato is a place where a proud heritage runs as deep as the river that flows through it.
Bridal veil falls, Waikato Walks, Raglan, NZ

Free Attractions

The diverse Waikato region provides an abundance of free activities and attractions so you can experience the wonders and hidden gems of the region on any budget.

Natural Habitat

The Waikato region is blessed with natural wonders that evoke an ancient New Zealand. From the famous black sand beaches in the west and bush-clad Mt Te Aroha in the east, to the region’s cultural heart in the north and the superb Waitomo Caves in the south, the region offers up a truly diverse natural wonderland.


Fancy some relaxation in the form of a leisurely round of golf as part of your holiday? Look no further than the Waikato region, which boasts numerous courses within a short drive from each other.
Te Aroha Mineral Spas, Te Aroha, New Zealand


With its rolling hills and tranquil waterways, the Waikato region offers the perfect setting for indulgence and luxury. With the demands of everyday life, everyone deserves a little (or a lot) of indulgence now and then – so go on, reward yourself.

Rural Living

Wherever you look in the region’s wide rural spaces, there are signs that you are in the heart of New Zealand’s richest agricultural area.
City Co Op Food, SkyCity Hamilton, Hamilton, NZ

Food and Wine

The food scene in the Waikato attracts the best, not only the best culinary creatives, but also people who enjoy the best food and beverages.