Top 10 Summer Activities in Hamilton & Waikato

Make the most of the summer in the Waikato with so much to see and do from beautiful beaches and stunning gardens to underground wonders and foodie delights. Check out the top 10 summer activities to do in the Waikato below:

1. Walking & Cycling Trails:

Summer is the perfect time to explore the great outdoors. The region’s top walking trails include those found on Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, Marokopa Falls (pictured), Mt Te Aroha and many more great Waikato Walks. Search the many walks on offer here

Waitomo Caves, Waitomo

Ruakuri Cave, Waitomo

2. Underground Wonders:

Waitomo Caves is a great activity option and are a cooling relief in the summer months. Take an easy stroll through the underground passageways or ride a boat under a galaxy of twinkling glowworms in the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, or for a little more adventure abseil down into The Lost World, zipline through the darkness or join a black water rafting tour.

Hamilton Zoo

3. Animal Encounters:

The Waikato region offers many opportunities to get up close and personal with a variety of native an exotic wildlife. Hamilton Zoo’s Face-2-Face encounters include Lemurs, Rhino and more, while the Otorohanga Kiwi House offers year round viewing of the native Kiwi in its nocturnal enclosure. Visit Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari in the morning and you may be able to spot one of the many native birdlife that are abundant on the mountain.

4. Head to the beach:

Raglan is the region’s great chill out spot. Laze on the black sand at Ngarunui beach or take a short drive to Manu Bay which has one of the longest left-hand breaks in the world. The harbour provides a tranquil spot for kayaking, stand up paddleboarding or a harbour cruise or if it’s the wild untamed nature of the west coast you’re after there is plenty of that on offer too, either on foot, on horseback or on a fishing boat.

Raglan Beach, New Zealand


5. Foodie Delights:

Nothing is better then a little indulgence and the Waikato regions boasts a variety of foodie options to tick this box. Enjoy a decadent High Tea at Zealong Tea Estate just north of Hamilton or take along a picnic blanket and enjoy local music at Gourmet in the Gardens. Visit award winning Waikato restaurants or one of the region's many farmers markets for fresh local produce. 

Te Aroha Mineral Spas, Te Aroha, New Zealand

Te Aroha Mineral Spas

6. Natural Spas:

The Waikato region's natural spa options are somewhat of a hidden gem. The town of Te Aroha has been welcoming visitors to the mineral spas for over 100 years, while Kawhia on the west coast boast a hot water beach where you can dig your own natural spa in the sand, with stunning views to match.

7. Events:

Hamilton City and the wider Waikato region is set for a jam packed summer of sporting events. From cricket and sevens rugby to cycling events and more. Search events here.

Summer Cricket

8. Cycle Trails:

Grab a bike and ride one of the great cycle trails on offer in the Waikato region including the Waikato River Trails, Te Awa River Ride, Timber Trail, Hauraki Rail trail and many more including local mountain bike parks. Search all the cycle tracks and trails on offer in the Waikato here

9. Inner-City Fun:

Hamilton City offers a range of great activities when the sun is shining. Take a relaxing stroll through the stunning Hamilton Gardens or explore the city from another view on-board the Waikato River Explorer. Take a stroll along the banks of the Waikato River or perhaps take a picnic to enjoy. 

Hamilton Gardens

10. Indoor Activities:

Just in case the weather doesn't play ball, here are a variety of indoor activity options including ten-pin bowling at SKYCITY Hamilton, interactive exhibitions at Waikato Museum, heading to the many movie complexes including Hoyts at Te Awa, The Base, burning off some energy on an indoor rock climbing wall or trampoline park, or visit the Classics Museum with over 100 classic cars on display along with a variety of petrol memorabilia.