Due to the recent heavy rainfall, a number of roads and walking/cycling tracks in the Waikato are closed. If you are travelling to or through the Waikato region, please visit Waka Kotahi’s Journey Planner website for up-to-date roading information and check the local Council’s Facebook page for the latest updates and advice.

  • Waitomo Glowworm Caves

School Holidays Fun

Discover something new and explore the hidden gems of the Waikato with your family this Summer! It's just magic!

BEST FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES IN THE WAIKATO

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.

Top 10 Spring Family-friendly Activities

From indulgent treats to keep you warm, to outdoor adventures, activities for the whole family and much more, check out the top 10 spring activities to do in the Waikato region

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.

Experiences

the Waikato region has a range of activities and attractions to suit all ages and tastes - from surfing world-class breaks and crawling through caves to wine tasting and heritage trails.

Eat & Drink

Fresh and local products and produce is best and the Waikato region is the place to make the most of some of New Zealand’s best. Enjoy award-winning cheese and wine, sample fresh produce such as asparagus or blueberries, browse at the numerous farmers markets, and dine at top cafes and restaurants.

Hot Deals

Grab a deal or discount on everything from activities & entertainment to accommodation and dining in the Waikato region.

From Out Of Town?

  • Accommodation

    From inner city hotels and motels to lodges and holiday parks, the region boasts a range of accommodation to suit all budgets and tastes.

  • Hamilton Airport

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

  • Hertz Hamilton

    Conveniently located at Hamilton Airport, you can hop off the plane and grab a rental car from Hertz.

Things to do

Free Attractions

From meandering through stunning gardens to discovering picturesque waterfalls and climbing to mountaintop views - there are plenty of free attractions to enjoy in the Mighty Waikato.

  • Waiorongomai Valley: Step back into gold mining history as you explore the Waiorongomai Valley in Te Aroha
  • Wairere Falls: Walk the Wairere Falls track near Matamata for stunning views of the falls and out over the region
  • Otorohanga Kiwiana Walk: Pick up a quiz sheet from the Otorohanga i-SITE and look for clues on the Ed Hillary walkways
  • Hamilton Gardens: Download and follow the Hamilton Gardens Children's Discovery Trail activity sheet
  • Mangaokewa Scenic Reserve: Explore the attractive bush walk to the Cascade Waterfalls
  • Hamilton Lake Domain: Stroll around the lake and let the kids loose on the playground
  • Hakarimata Walkway: Visit ancient Kauri trees, tackle the summit stairs or try the family friendly rail trail track
  • Gallagher Bike Skills Park: Helps your children to learn essential bike skills in a safe environment
  • Mokena Geyser: Watch the world's only naturally hot soda water geyser erupt every 40 minutes in Te Aroha - while you are there check out the free foot pools in the domain
  • Kawahia Hotwater Beach: Dig your own natural spa in the sand, with stunning views to match.
  • Cycle Trails: From the banks of the Waikato River to the ancient Pureora Forest, there are many cycle trails to enjoy. Download our Waikato cycle trails guide for families here
  • Plus much more

Things to see and do

From underground adventure and Middle-earth movie magic to wildlife encounters and inn-city fun - there are plenty of great activities to enjoy this summer.

Indoor Activities:

  • Bowl & Social at SkyCity HamiltonCheck out SkyCity Hamilton's Bowl & Social for ten pin bowling, great food and timezone games.
  • Waikato MuseumWith top art, history and interactive kids exhibitions the Waikato Museum is a perfect indoor activity for the entire family.
  • Zealong Tea EstateTreat yourself to a high tea overlooking the stunning tea plantation.

Outdoor Activities:

  • Waitomo Glowworm CavesVisit the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves and gaze in awe at the galaxy of glowworms. 
  • Hobbiton Movie SetDiscover movie magic with a guided tour through the permanent set as seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies.
  • Hamilton GardensExplore the award-winning Hamilton Gardens and discover different civilisations and historically important garden styles from the farthest reaches of the world.
  • Waitomo Adventures: Get your adrenaline pumping with a zipline, abseil or black water rafting trip with Waitomo Adventures, or try their family friendly tour, the Troll Cave.
  • Sanctuary Mountain MaungatautariDiscover walks through native forest for close encounters with birdlife and reptiles.
  • Hamilton Zoo: Home to over 600 native and exotic animals and set amidst 25ha of lush and tranquil surroundings, Hamilton Zoo is the destination for a memorable day out.
  • Hampton DownsChallenge 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.
  • The Sculpture Park at Waitakaruru Arboretum: Take a walk along the beautiful 2km art-in-nature trail and discover more than 100 sculptures and rare trees along the way. 
  • Cornerstone Alpaca Stud: Experience the ultimate alpaca experience with one of Cornerstone Alpaca Farm Tours, where you can meet and feed beautiful alpacas.
  • Riverside Adventures: Riverside Adventure’s shuttle service is available to pick up and drop off any adventurers at Te Awa River Ride, Hauraki Rail Trail and the Timber Trail. If you’re after gear hire, Riverside Adventures has got regular bikes, e-bikes and accessories to make a day of it.
  • Thundercross Valley: Thundercross is a unique dirt bike park in New Zealand with tracks, bike hire and tuition all in the same place. 
  • Hamilton Golf Club: Visit Hamilton Golf Club at St. Andrews - one of New Zealand's premier golf clubs, welcoming members, the visiting golf enthusiast and its locals for golf or a relaxing coffee in MatteBlack Cafe.
  • Camjet: Take an Extreme Jet Boat Tour - a breathtaking adrenaline rush to the base of the Karapiro Dam and back to Cambridge. 
  • Woodlands Historic Homestead and Gardens: Experience a journey into history and appreciate the timeless beauty and refinement of early Victorian lifestyle in rural New Zealand.
  • Plus much more.