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.

All Activities & Experiences

View all activities & attractions

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.

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.


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.
Kayak in Raglan

Water Activities

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

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.

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.

Wellness experiences in Waikato

From getting out and “lost” in nature to emptying your mind in a local yoga studio, Waikato is the ideal destination for self-care and letting the world’s problems melt away.
Bowling SkyCity, Hamilton

Indoor Activity Options

From tenpin bowling and interactive exhibitions to escape rooms and famous Waitomo caves – there are a variety of indoor activity options, perfect for all weather, in the Waikato region.

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.

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.


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.

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.