Top Instagrammable Spots in the Waikato
Hobbiton Move Set
Located in the heart of the Waikato countryside Hobbiton Movie Set is the permanent set created for the The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies. See the 40 hobbit holes, including Bilbo Baggin's house Bag End, the party tree and mill, and then enjoy a drink in The Green Dragon. Check out the Hobbiton website for tour info and pricing.
Hamilton Gardens is made up of over 20 beautifully landscapes gardens including the Surrealist Garden, Japanese Garden of Contemplation, Italian Renaissance Garden, Indian Char Bagh Garden, Mansfield Garden and the recently opened Ancient Egyptian Garden. The stunning gardens provide many photo opportunities, and entry is free.
Located on the drive from Waitomo Village towards Marokopa, the 35 metre high Marokopa falls are said to be one of the most beautiful in the country and are well worth a visit. The viewing platform for the falls is via an easy 20 minute return walk which passes through native tawa and nikau forest.
Bridal Veil Falls
Spectacular 55 metre high waterfall near Raglan which offers ample photo opportunities at different points. It is an easy 10 minute walk through native bush, following the Pakoka River for most of the way, to two viewing platforms at the top.
The highest waterfall in the North Island, water plunges 153 metres over the falls before forming streamlets which flow through rocks and ferns. The sight from the viewing platform at the bottom is spectacular and at the lookout at the top of the falls you will be rewarded with breathtaking views back over the valley and the Waikato plains beyond.
Hamilton Street Art
There are numerous murals and street art located throughout Hamilton. Including the giant kārearea mural at Victoria on the River, the Riff Raff statue located outside the Waikato Museum and the Tongue of the Dog sculpture which honours the Māori legend of how the Waikato River was created.
The bohemian surf town of Raglan is the region's great chill out spot. Its beautiful beaches and rugged landscape draw many artists and photographers, and the sunsets are truly breathtaking.
Mt Te Aroha Summit
From the summit of Mt Te Aroha, there are 360 degree views across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions. On a clear day, you will be able to see Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Taranaki. It is a 3 hour hike one way and be prepared for alpine weather conditions at the summit.
Wide open spaces ribboned with walkways make Hamilton Lake Domain a go-to for anyone looking for a scenic location. Located in the heart of Hamilton City, Hamilton Lake (also known as Lake Rotoroa) includes varied natural lakeside vegetation, grassed parklands perfect for a picnic, playgrounds and a cafe.
Alphra Lavender & Lavender Backyard
Those lavender fields are picture-perfect locations. Visitors are welcome to wander the gardens, pick their own and take photographs of themselves amongst the lavender.
Taupiri Sunflower Farm
Taupiri Sunflower Farm captivates visitors with its vast fields of golden blooms, creating a picturesque canvas that effortlessly draws in the admiration of all who encounter its radiant beauty.
Hakarimata Summit Track
To get to the summit you need to climb the infamous staircase of 1349 steps. The amazing views out towards the coast, across the Waikato Basin and down to Ruapehu, are definitely worth the climb.