Ngāruawāhia & Gordonton

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In the North Waikato bush-clad mountains make way for rugged coastlines and the mighty Waikato River as it makes its way to the sea, while small towns and villages dot the landscape with an eclectic lineup of shops, cafes and churches

Destination Ngāruawāhia & Gordonton

There’s no shortage of things to do in North Waikato. Walks, historical sites and the small towns that dot the landscape are full of character and colour. Life moves at a slower pace here and the locals are welcoming.

Zealong Tea Estate

Nestled among the rolling green fields of the Waikato region is the Zealong Tea Estate, New Zealand’s only tea plantation.
If you’re a tea lover, you’ll love the Discover Tea experience the plantation offers. Learn how tea is made and all about its history during the 90-minute tour, and be treated to a traditional tea ceremony.

Visitors can also enjoy lunch or high tea at the Camellia Tea House with stunning views overlooking the tea estate.

Hākarimata Ranges Walks

The Hākarimata Scenic Reserve, near Ngāruawāhia, 10km northwest of Hamilton in the North Waikato region, is a great place to see New Zealand’s majestic kauri trees and find stunning views of the region. Nestled in the Hākarimata Ranges, the reserve boasts some of the best Waikato walks.

Wander along the Hākarimata Kauri Loop Track to a grove filled with the majestic native trees, accompanied by tui and kereru that chirp merrily overhead; take on the Hākarimata summit track, a three-hour walk to the top of the ranges or opt for the waterworks track, a 60-minute, 1km return walk to an old dam, built in 1922.

Also worth a look is the 30-minute Hākarimata Rail Trail, an easy 1.5km walking and cycling track suitable for buggies and wheelchairs that follows the route of the former Ngāruawāhia/Glen Massey railway.

Cornerstone Alpaca Farm

Experience the kiwi alpaca lifestyle at Cornerstone Alpaca Stud in North Waikato. Conveniently located just an hour’s drive from Auckland and a short 10-minute journey from Hamilton, this scenic alpaca farm welcomes visitors to enjoy a unique and unforgettable experience. Take part in a 90-minute Alpaca Farm Tour, where you can interact with friendly alpacas, feed them, and capture beautiful photos or opt for a shorter Alpaca Feeding trail. Then enjoy a bite from their on-site café.

Woodlands Historic Homestead and Gardens

Immerse yourself in history and timeless charm at Woodlands Historic Homestead and Gardens in Gordonton. Explore the historic homestead and stroll through the exquisite Victorian-themed gardens, which have a 5-star Garden of National Significance rating. Take a self-guided tour of Woodlands Estate, where you’ll discover captivating stories and memories from the heart of Gordonton’s rich history. Don’t miss the opportunity to admire impressive trees such as New Zealand’s largest Eucalyptus, the finest Liriodendron in the Waikato, an American Ash, and a Juniperus Chinensis.

Te Awa River Ride

Te Awa River Ride begins in Ngāruawāhia and keen cyclists can ride alongside and over the mighty Waikato river on the iconic green Perry Bridge onwards to Hamilton Gardens. This is an easy 2 hour ride and a wonderful way to view the Waikato river.

Check out Riverside Adventure's shuttle service, which is available to pick up and drop off adventurers at Te Awa River Ride.

Taupiri Sunflower Farm

Taupiri Sunflower Farm is a picturesque location near Gordonton, offering a vibrant burst of colour and natural beauty. Known for its beautiful sunflower fields, the farm provides a stunning backdrop for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike. Visitors can wander through the sunflower fields, capturing the breathtaking scenery and enjoying a peaceful escape.

Top activities in Ngāruawāhia & Gordonton

top pick Hamilton Waikato Tourism

Woodlands Estate - Homestead, Gardens, Venue, Cafe

Welcoming Guests Through Our Doors Since 1872. Woodlands Estate was established as a 98,000-acre estate purchased from The Crown by The Piako Swamp Company for 2/6 (25 cents) an acre. The Homestead, restored to its former glory, was initially built as a Manager's residence between 1875 and 1881. It is primarily made of Kauri and still features some original weatherboards and roof iron. Woodlands Estate is looked after by a not-for-profit trust, with the gardens being well-maintained by the Waikato District Council. The overall historic and aesthetic value of the homestead and gardens has been maintained thanks to generous donations and voluntary time. The Trust extends its gratitude for the generous support of the community over the years.
top pick Cornerstone Alpaca Farm Tours

Cornerstone Alpaca Tours

Yoour one stop Alpaca Farm Cafe, Shop & Venue. A fun thing to do in Hamilton and a great tourist attraction. Experience the kiwi alpaca lifestyle. We enjoy welcoming visitors to our beautiful Waikato farm in the picturesque Gordonton Village, New Zealand. Meet our friendly alpacas, visit our Alpaca Gift Shop, and enjoy a bite from our onsite Licensed Café. Our stunning country barn, Granero, is available for functions and weddings with onsite catering from Cornerstone Kitchen. The farm is conveniently located on a popular tourist route between Auckland, Matamata (40 min) and Rotorua (90 min). We're 1 hour from Auckland, 5 min from Zealong and 15 minutes from Hamilton Gardens. Ideal for a family day trip to rural Waikato.
top pick Te Puna Wai Tours Ltd

Te Puna Wai Tours

Te Puna Wai Tours offers educational, interactive guided tours in the Waikato region showcasing local legacy and history. Our friendly, professional guides have a wealth of experience and knowledge of significance places, customs and practices in this captivating corner of Aotearoa. Enjoy exhilarating activities such as guided walking tours, E bike excursions, cultural competency workshops and the ever-popular West Coast Fishing Tour. There truly is something for everyone and we can’t wait to share our world with you – a unique adventure awaits, unlike any other cultural, historical, or outdoors experience you’ve had. Nau mai, haere mai.
top pick Thundercross

Thundercross Valley Dirt Bike Park

Thundercross Valley Dirt Bike track was established 20 years ago by owner and champion rider, James Fowlie and his family. Set in 750 acres of stunning, rolling countryside, the Park is a popular destination for visitors from all around the world, including first-timers, advanced riders, adrenaline seekers and families alike. Bring your own bike or hire one of ours. No licence or experience necessary. We provide a totally unique experience. You can have a lesson with New Zealand's most experienced coach & try out the delights of dirt biking in a safe and friendly environment. Full protective gear provided. Come and visit us soon.
top pick BoydsPhotography - Hamilton NZ

River Riders Ngāruawāhia

Come on an electric adventure along the majestic Waikato Te Awa, New Zealand's longest river! Join us for a curated 1-3 day experience on Te Awa 'The Great New Zealand River Ride' or Waikato River Trail. This incredible journey begins or ends at the northern trailhead, just an hour's drive from Auckland Airport in Ngāruawāhia, and takes you through key attractions such as The Hamilton Gardens, The Velodrome, and Cambridge before concluding or commencing at Lake Karapiro. Choose from our carefully crafted packages that include everything you need for a seamless Mighty Waikato River experience. From bikes to kayaks, thrilling jet boat rides, delicious meals, accommodations, and transportation – we have it all covered. Welcome to River Riders.
top pick photo_142450_20111105

NZ Expeditions

Our focus is on ensuring that expedition participants extract maximum value and enjoyment from their New Zealand travel experience. We achieve this in collaboration with our clients through detailed online itinerary planning. This involves ensuring that expedition participants are aware of their daily route, drive times and activity options during the planning phase We are then able to recommend accommodation options and expedition gear to match the itinerary. Clients are accommodated in completely self-contained private residences (or B&Bs depending on travel time-frames) in some of the most beautiful locations this country has to offer.