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
Check out the great range of events on the calendar in the Waikato region.
- The Cat in the Hat - 4 July: Few children’s books have stood the test of time quite like Dr Seuss’s 200 word masterpiece ‘The Cat in the Hat’. Catch the live version on stage these school holidays!
- July School Holiday Programme at Waikato Museum - 6-17 July: Have fun at the Museum these school holidays, leave the children to enjoy supervised, tutored programmes.
- Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa - 5, 19 July & 1 August: Lock the game dates in your calendar and grab your tickets today to the mighty Chiefs take on the Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton throughout July and August.
- Dinosaur rEvolution: Secrets of Survival - Until 13 Sept: Dinosaurs ruled the world for 169 million years and vanished 65 million years ago – but did they all go extinct? See their fascinating skeletons, run your hands over fossil casts including a nest of dinosaur eggs, and unearth fossils from dig pits. Discover whether T. Rex really did have brown scales!
- 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 winter.
- Waitomo Glowworm Caves: Visit 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 Set: Discover movie magic with a guided tour through the permanent set as seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies.
- Hamilton Gardens: Explore the award-winning Hamilton Gardens and discover different civilisations and historically important garden styles from the farthest reaches of the world.
- SkyCity Hamilton: Check 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 walks through native forest for close encounters with birdlife and reptiles.
- Hamilton Zoo: Get up close and personal with exotic animals such as Lemur and Rhino with a Eye2Eye encounter at Hamilton Zoo.
- Waikato Museum: With top art, history and interactive kids exhibitions the Waikato Museum is a perfect indoor activity for the entire family.
- Hampton Downs: Challenge 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 Estate: Treat 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 Surf School: Learn to surf on Raglan's world famous left-hand surf breaks.
- Good George Brewery: Learn 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Jet Park Hotel Hamilton Airport: Conveniently located adjacent to Hamilton Airport. Enjoy a quiet setting, home-style food, and replenishing outdoor spaces at Jet Park Hotel Hamilton Airport.
- View more accommodation options