Media Releases

15 December 2022: Summer travel heats up in Waikato

The Mighty Waikato will be rolling out the welcome mat this summer as thousands flock to the region for their summer holiday.

Air New Zealand Regional Affairs Manager Jason Dawson says more than 21,000 customers will visit the region over the summer holiday period, which will be a welcome boost for Waikato tourism and accommodation providers.

Air New Zealand is preparing to fly more than 1.5 million customers around the country between today and 31 January – 400,000 more than the same period last year.

“With Kiwis heading off to their holiday hotspot and international travellers back in Aotearoa regional centres will benefit from the busy summer ahead.”

According to MBIE, this year to October, international visitors have spent an estimated $83 million in electronic card transactions in the region as New Zealand’s borders reopened to the world.

"Communities in regional New Zealand are incredibly important to Air New Zealand and we recognise the role we play in connecting those communities to loved ones, business opportunities, economic growth and employment through tourism”.

Hamilton’s iconic fantasy gardens, river trails, and thriving restaurant and bar scene, will appeal to visitors looking to experience a taste of the Waikato region. Berry picking is also a popular summer family experience, as well as exploring some of the region’s iconic waterfalls.

With Hamilton’s central location in the region, it’s only a short journey south to Waitomo for those seeking an underground adventure with glow worm caves, west for the surf vibe in Raglan, north to experience New Zealand’s only tea estate or east to visit Middle-earth and the Hobbiton Movie Set.

Air New Zealand’s Hamilton lounge team are getting in the festive spirit, serving Christmas ham off the bone, strawberries with whipped cream, fruit mince pies and mini pavlovas to lounge customers between 21 to 25 December.

“It’s an incredibly busy time for travel. Customers should allow plenty of time to get to the airport, arrive at the very latest 60 minutes before your flight. Add to that a bit more time to that if you’re travelling with pets, oversized bags, or require special assistance.

“Also, if you’re connecting onto one of our jet services, please allow plenty of time to get through security.”

Air New Zealand’s top tips for being travel-ready this summer can be found on the airline’s Travel Alerts page.