Discover something new and explore the hidden gems of the Waikato this autumn! It's just magic!

Make the most of your time in the mighty Waikato with natural wonders, Middle-earth movie magic and underground adventures all on offer here.

Family Fun

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 Autumn Activities in the Waikato

Make the most of the autumn in the Waikato with so much to see and do for the whole family from destination playgrounds and stunning gardens to underground wonders, interactive exhibitions and Middle-earth movie magic.

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

A geographically and culturally diverse area, 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. Check out the articles below for a more in-depth look at some of the region’s top activities & attractions.

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.

Top Deals

  • Hobbiton Movie Set Tours

    Family Pass Deal includes 2x Adult and 2x Youth tickets at a reduced rate of $225. Children 8 and under are free.

  • Glowworm Kayak Family Package

    Bring your family along on our Glowworm tour for $356 x 2 adults & 2 children (8 to 15 years).

  • Exscite/Galileo combo special

    Special combo deal for same-day admission to Galileo - Scientist, Astronomer, Visionary and Waikato Museum’s interactive science exhibition for children, Exscite from $15

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
  • 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

Accommodation Options

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

  • 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.
  • Ventura Inn & Suites Hamilton: A warm welcome that's worth checking into - Ventura is great value accommodation for a night away.
  • Hidden Lake Hotel & Apartments: Boutique and contemporary accommodation situated in the heritage town of Cambridge. Relax with delicious share plates and local wines, treat yourself to a spa treatment and enjoy the beautiful views. 
  • The Henley: A thoroughly modern country house hotel that offers a unique blend of relaxed luxury and contemporary design.

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 autumn.

  • 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.
  • 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 family friendly tour, the Troll Cave.
  • Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari: Discover 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.
  • 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 glowworm kayak tour on Lake Karapiro, or hire some bikes to explore the Waikato River Trails.
  • 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.
  • Raglan Rock: Come along and join us for one of our adventures. Climb, abseil, jump off waterfalls, day or night, surround yourself with glowworms, go caving underground or explore some of Raglan's local climbing areas.
  • CaveWorld: Escape the crowds and enjoy a magical Waitomo glowworm cave 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. 
  • 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.