Due to the recent heavy rainfall, a number of roads and walking/cycling tracks in the Waikato are closed. If you are travelling to or through the Waikato region, please visit Waka Kotahi’s Journey Planner website for up-to-date roading information and check the local Council’s Facebook page for the latest updates and advice.

Summer in the Waikato - It's just magic!

Activity Suggestions

Make the most of your short escape with these great activity suggestions. From underground wonders and Middle-earth Movie Magic to wildlife encounters, kayak trips and much more

Top Picks:

  • 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.
  • Bowl & Social at SkyCity HamiltonCheck out SkyCity Hamilton's Bowl & Social for ten pin bowling, great food and timezone games.
  • Waikato MuseumWith top art, history and interactive kids exhibitions the Waikato Museum is a perfect indoor activity for the entire family.
  • Zealong Tea EstateTreat yourself to a high tea overlooking the stunning tea plantation.
  • Sanctuary Mountain MaungatautariDiscover 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • Cornerstone Alpaca Stud: Experience the ultimate alpaca experience with one of Cornerstone Alpaca Farm Tours, where you can meet and feed beautiful alpacas.
  • Riverside Adventures: Riverside Adventure’s shuttle service is available to pick up and drop off any adventurers at Te Awa River Ride, Hauraki Rail Trail and the Timber Trail. If you’re after gear hire, Riverside Adventures has got regular bikes, e-bikes and accessories to make a day of it.
  • Thundercross Valley: Thundercross is a unique dirt bike park in New Zealand with tracks, bike hire and tuition all in the same place. 
  • Hamilton Golf Club: Visit Hamilton Golf Club at St. Andrews - one of New Zealand's premier golf clubs, welcoming members, the visiting golf enthusiast and its locals for golf or a relaxing coffee in MatteBlack Cafe.
  • Camjet: Take an Extreme Jet Boat Tour - a breathtaking adrenaline rush to the base of the Karapiro Dam and back to Cambridge. 
  • Woodlands Historic Homestead and Gardens: Experience a journey into history and appreciate the timeless beauty and refinement of early Victorian lifestyle in rural New Zealand.
  • Plus much more.

It's just magic!

The mighty Waikato has a number of magical experiences right on your doorstep. But don’t just take our word for it – check out the below videos featuring fellow locals and their fav spots.

Hobbiton Movie Set

Hamilton Gardens

Visiting from out of town?

Castaways Resort, Waiuku
Suite at Novotel Tainui Hamilton, Hamilton, Waikato, NZ

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.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Podium Lodge: Modern 86-bed facility, offering a unique accommodation experience in a peaceful rural setting.
  • Ramada by Wyndham: 69-room, 3+ star hotel features a variety of room categories to suit every traveller. 
  • Heartland Ambassador Hotel Hamilton: Located in the heart of the city, Heartland Ambassador Hotel Hamilton is within a short walking distance to FMG Waikato Stadium
  • Hidden Lake Hotel & Apartments: Boutique and contemporary accommodation situated in the heritage town of Cambridge.
  • Castaways Resort: Enjoy ocean front studio or chalet accommodation. All accommodation has sea views, super king beds, wireless internet, Sky TV, kitchenettes as well as private decks.

Flying to Hamilton?

With direct flights daily from Wellington, Christchurch and more, it's easy for the extended family to fly to the Waikato for a visit this summer.

  • Find Flights: Fly direct to Hamilton airport. With taxis and Uber it is super easy to get to the city centre from the airport. 
  • Hertz Hamilton: Conveniently located at Hamilton Airport, you can hop off the plane and grab a rental car from Hertz.
  • Te Huia train: Te Huia connects Auckland and Waikato with a two hours train trip through picturesque countryside.

Check out what other people have been doing on their Summer getaways in the Waikato