Best Activities for a Rainy Day in the Waikato

  1. Visitors
  2. Things to do
  3. Indoor activities
  4. Activities for Rainy Day
Explore a range of indoor activities in the Waikato region, from tenpin bowling and interactive exhibitions to escape rooms and the renowned Waitomo Caves, offering perfect options for all weather conditions.

Waikato Museum

Overlooking the mighty Waikato River, Waikato Museum is the cultural heart of Hamilton City with 13 galleries featuring permanent and touring exhibitions, as well as some special 100 events each year. Highlights include the majestic war waka Te Winika and there’s a fun hands-on science experience that’s popular with visiting children.

Waitomo Caves

The world-famous Waitomo Caves are one of the many attractions to enjoy in the mighty Waikato, regardless of the weather. While it is technically an outdoor activity, when you are deep underground in the Waitomo Caves, it can feel like you are indoors. There are plenty of options on offer, from gentle boat rides and walking tours to a blood-pumping range of cave adventures including blackwater rafting, abseiling and ziplining.

Bowl & Social

SkyCity Hamilton's Bowl and Social is the perfect place for a friendly ten-pin bowling competition between friends. There’s also a great lineup of arcade games, air hockey and a pool table. Plus you can order a drink and a meal from the lanes or enjoy the incredible view of the Waikato River from the deck. This indoor activity is great for family and friend groups, and perfect for the school holidays.

Ōtorohanga Kiwi House

Although in the wild kiwis are tucked away in their burrows asleep during daylight hours, at Ōtorohanga Kiwi House and Native Bird Park the normally nocturnal birds can be seen up close thanks to specially designed ‘night-time’ houses. There are three species of kiwis on site – brown, great spotted and little spotted.

Te Aroha Mineral Spas

Te Aroha Mineral Spas offers delightfully relaxing soaks in wooden tubs and a range of massage and beauty treatments – from body scrubs and wraps that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated to botanical facials.


  • The Base – One of the largest shopping malls in New Zealand, The Base is located at Te Rapa on the northern side of Hamilton City. From movie theatres to shopping for everyone in the family, it's easy to while away a few hours indoors at The Base.
  • Laneways – Tucked away in Hamilton there are laneways with treasures known to locals and waiting to be discovered by visitors to the city. The secluded laneways between buildings are the natural habitat for many cafés, restaurants and bars as well as bookstores, art galleries, fashion boutiques and beauty salons, Check out Casabella Lane and The Riverbank Lane in the heart of the city and head for Hamilton East to find Lovegrove Lane.
  • Cambridge Shell & Jade – Family owned, Cambridge Shell & Jade is where to go for high quality handcrafted greenstone and bone carvings, as well as pāua and inlaid jewellery. Carvers will also craft one-off exclusive pieces to order.
  • Centre Place – With major brand stores and boutiques there is plenty of opportunity for retail therapy, while the street-side dining lane and the food court offer just about every dining experience. For entertainment, there are two cinemas – Lido and Metro by Hoyts, as well as a games arcade.

Indoor family fun

  • Indoor Rock climbing - From absolute first timers to the experienced pros, there’s a rock-climbing challenge for everyone at Extreme Edge Hamilton where there are more than 100 climbing routes. Indoor rockclimbing is a great indoor family friendly activity, suitable for all ages and fitness levels.
  • Trampoline Parks -  Leaping about on a trampoline isn’t just for the kids as visitors to the indoor trampoline park will discover. Both Leap and Ninja Valley offer a range of fun activities that can be tailored to suit any fitness level and preference.
  • Megazone & Fun zone - From games arcades to mini golf, VR and laser tag, Hamilton City's Megazone & Fun zone knows a thing or two about indoor fun.

Escape rooms

  • Confinement Escape Rooms – Located near Waikato Museum, there are five escape rooms, each one with a different theme, storyline and clues to keep escapees wondering what lies ahead. Confinement also offers scavenger hunts in Hamilton, including one that’s a pub crawl where a scientist developing new cocktail recipes has stumbled upon something revolutionary, and at the historic Woodlands Homestead and Gardens.
  • Escape HQ – Whether it’s a party for the kids or a corporate event, or simply to test your problem-solving skills, the Hamilton central Escape HQ has an experience to suit.
  • Lilliputt Fun Zone - Located at Centre Place in Hamilton, this fun all-weather activity will test the skills and intellect of the participants.

Grassroots Trust Velodrome

Have a go at track cycling at the velodrome where a coach will fit you with a bike and helmet and then expertly guide you at your pace through an exhilarating session around the track.

Regional Museums

  • Waitomo Caves Museum – New Zealand's only specialist speleological museum has been telling the story of the Waitomo Caves district, above and below the ground, for the past 50-plus years. 
  • Te Awamutu Museum – The museum contains significant treasures from local Māori tribes and is home to the Te Ara Wai Journeys gallery.
  • Te Awamutu Space Centre – A museum and activity venue suitable for all ages, the space centre gives visitors fascinating insights into space and astronomy.
  • Classics Museum – More than 100 classic cars and an extensive collection of petrol memorabilia are displayed at the museum. 
  • Morrinsville Museum – The rich history of the mostly farming district of Morrinsville is told in the museum’s extensive collection of photographs and artefacts.
  • Firth Tower Estate and Museum – One of New Zealand’s largest farming museums await visitors to Firth Tower near Matamata. Exhibits are housed in 13 different buildings including a chapel which is available for weddings.

Art Galleries

  • Morrinsville Gallery – Showcasing the work of New Zealand’s finest established and emerging artists, including from the Wallace Art Trust Collection, the gallery also stages performance and art talk events as well as workshops. Arts Post Hamilton – Housed in the former central post office building in Hamilton,
  • ArtsPost is dedicated to developing and promoting artists, and to growing a dynamic and supportive environment for the arts in the Waikato. 
  • Heritage Gallery Cambridge – The perfect place to find a gift for a special occasion – or simply to spoil yourself – the gallery offers a high-quality selection of original art, studio glass, prints, ceramics and jewellery.
  • Inspirit Studio & Gallery Tamahere – An arts space for art lovers, the studio and gallery offers photography, paintings, sculptures, glass, ceramics, jewellery and functional and wearable art for sale.

Gourmet Delights

  • Zealong Tea Estate – New Zealand’s only commercial tea estate, Zealong is where visitors can learn about the fascinating world of tea, including taking a look behind the scenes or simply relaxing over high tea.
  • The Waikato is the land of many treats. Whether you’re a dedicated foodie with gourmet tastes or simply looking for a burger, fish and chip or pizza fix, the region is ready to tempt with a range of eateries, bars, food stores and local markets. Many specialise in locally grown produce and locally crafted products. 

Indoor Events

From music, whether it’s a concert or a gig in a pub or club, to quiz nights, indoor sports and even quilting or a game of chess, there are plenty of things to do indoors in the Waikato region. Browse all events here.