School Holidays

Keep the kids entertained these Winter school holidays

With a range of great family friendly activities, free attractions, holiday programmes, top events and much more in the Waikato region.

Underground Adventure

Millions of years in the making, the region’s caves, including the world-famous ones at Waitomo, provides a playground unlike any other. As if it’s not enough that nature has carved out a glowworm-studded underground marvel, enterprising locals have added adventure activities to enhance the experience further.

Family Fun

Make the most of family outings and holidays with the abundance of family-friendly activities in the region...

Free attractions

The diverse Hamilton & 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.

Blue Spring, Te Waihou Walkway Putaruru

Walking Trails

From casual strolls along the river to overnight bush excursions and winding mountain tracks the Hamilton & Waikato region has a variety of great walking trails to suit everyone.

Events

From holiday programmes to the circus, there are plenty of great school holidays events in Hamilton & Waikato
The Timber Trail Cycleway, Waitomo, NZ

Cycle Trails

There are hundreds of kilometres of trail to discover, offering riders a close-up look at the region's picturesque scenery and fascinating past. From the Waikato River Trails and the Timber Trail to the Hauraki Rail Trail, the Te Awa River Ride and many more...

Hot Deals

Things to do

Free Attractions

Blue Spring Walkway

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
  • Blue Spring at Te Waihou Walkway: Visit the internationally acclaimed springs, with water so pure its supplies around 70% of NZ's bottled water
  • 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
  • Cycle Trails: From the banks of the Waikato River to the ancient Pureora Forest, there are many cycle trails to enjoy
  • Plus much more

Upcoming Events

Check out the great range of events on the calendar in the Waikato region.

  • July School Holiday Programme at Waikato Museum - 8-19 July: Have fun at the Museum these school holidays, leave the children to enjoy supervised, tutored programmes.
  • Room on the Broom - 8-9 July: CDP presents Tall Stories’ production of Room On the Broom adapted from the award winning picture book by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler, published by Macmillan Children’s books.
  • Cut! Costume and the Cinema - 11 June-21 July: Waikato Museum is the exclusive New Zealand venue for Cut! Costume and the Cinema, a dazzling exhibition showcasing five centuries of fashion and style as worn by some of Hollywood’s biggest names including Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley and Kate Winslet.
  • The Gourmet Garage - 5 July - 27 Sept 2019: Delight in an incredible range of gourmet food trucks, and family entertainment as this weekly seasonal event the whole family will love.
  • Speakatube - 5-24 July: Share a secret, make some noise and have fun with kōrero (conversation) with this quirky interactive sound sculpture for the whole family.
  • Plus many 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.

  • Waitomo Glowworm CavesVisit the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves and gaze in awe at the galaxy of glowworms. Grab a Cave combo deal and visit the Ruakuri Cave as well.
  • 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.
  • SKYCITY HamiltonCheck out SKYCITY Hamilton's new Bowl & Social for ten pin bowling, great food and timezone games.
  • Waitomo Adventures: Get your adrenaline pumping with a zipline, abseil or black water rafting trip with Waitomo Adventures, or try their newest family friendly tour, the Troll Cave.
  • Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari: Discover Plentiful walks through native forest for close encounters with birdlife and reptiles.
  • Hamilton ZooGet up close and personal with exotic animals such as Lemur and Rhino with a Eye2Eye encounter at Hamilton Zoo.
  • Waikato MuseumWith top art, history and interactive kids exhibitions the Waikato Museum is a perfect indoor activity for the entire family.
  • 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.
  • Zealong Tea EstateTreat yourself to a high tea overlooking the stunning tea plantation.
  • Lake District Adventures: Take a magical glowwom kayak tour on Lake Karapiro, or hire some bikes to explore the Waikato River Trails.
  • Raglan Kayak & PaddleboardExplore Raglan's limestone coast with kayak & paddleboard tours and rentals.
  • Raglan Surf SchoolLearn to surf on Raglan's world famous left-hand surf breaks.
  • Good George BreweryLearn all about the brewing process and their award-winning beers with a Brewery Tour, or enjoy a bite to eat in the dining hall.
  • Go Skydive: Get your adrenaline pumping with a skydive from up to 13,000ft, providing stunning views of the Waikato region below.
  • Escapist: Can you escape in 60 minutes? Get your brain working with immersive escape rooms and check out their board game cafe in the heart of Hamilton.
  • Plus much more.

Family visiting from out of town?

With a range of accommodation options, it is easy to accommodate for the extended family - or perhaps treat yourself and enjoy a 'staycation' while exploring the Waikato region.

  • Novotel Tainui Hamilton: On the banks of the Waikato River, within a short distance of the Hamilton City section of the Te Awa cycleway, Novotel offers all the creature comforts of a large hotel.
  • Distinction Hotel Hamilton: Boasting 147 rooms and suites, many refurbished in 2017, free unlimited Wi-Fi, restaurant & bar, fitness centre, indoor swimming pool & spa pools.
  • Kelly Rd: Contemporary, luxury accommodation including studio units and one/two bedroom apartments in Cambridge. 
  • Ibis Tainui Hamilton: The hotel presents the only restaurant in the city with breath taking views of the Waikato River - a great place to enjoy unique local flavours.
  • Ventura Inn & Suites Hamilton: A warm welcome that's worth checking into - Ventura is great value accommodation for a night away.
  • View more accommodation options