The riverside metropolitan city of Hamilton, with its vibrant café and bar scene and thriving nightlife, is centrally positioned to all the tourist attractions in the Waikato region - a land of lush pastures that was chosen to play The Shir... Show More
Tourist Information About Hamilton & Waikato
The riverside metropolitan city of Hamilton, with its vibrant café and bar scene and thriving nightlife, is centrally positioned to all the tourist attractions in the Waikato region - a land of lush pastures that was chosen to play The Shire in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films.For a magical underground experience, the Waitomo Caves with the natural beauty of stalactites, stalagmites and glowworms will take your breath away. Also in the vicinity are black water rafting and abseiling, Raglan's surf coast and the historic Te Aroha Mineral Pools.Known for its scenic diversity the Hamilton and Waikato region offers a myriad of options for those keen on walking, hiking and cycling, a round of golf or a ride in a hot air balloon. The Hamilton region of New Zealand offers a wealth of nature-based activities and attractions surrounding a vibrant city hub.
Best Attractions and Things to do in Hamilton and Waikato
1. Hobbiton movie set
The Hobbiton Movie Set tour will take you through the authentic movie set built for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings film series, which includes The Hobbit. The Green Dragon Inn is a real pub that serves excellent meals and a choice of rare ales. It's a memorable tour highlight for most. The rural setting and incredible craftsmanship make it easy to imagine the hobbit's joyful and tranquil life.
2. Escape HQ
If you happen to be in Hamilton when the weather isn't at its finest, one of the best indoor activities, with your family or without, has to be Escape HQ. With an exhilarating hour of fun and entertainment, you'll pass the day without a second thought. At Escape HQ, you can choose your game and then expect to be challenged, as you find clues and solve puzzles using logic and problem solving skills!
3. Waikato River
The Waikato River is the longest river in New Zealand, running for 425 kilometers! It even flows through New Zealand's largest lake; Lake Taupō. The best way to explore the true power of the river is by cruise or jet boat tour. The less wet option is to take one of the many cycle trails alongside it.
Raglan is a great place to visit even if you aren't a surfer. This eccentric tiny coastal town is only 35 minutes from Hamilton and offers inventive food, artisan shops, outstanding coffee, estuary kayaking, and black sand beach walks. Bring your favorite board or stick to the basics with some bodysurfing to enjoy the famed waves. Raglan is known for black-sand Ngarunui Beach and the long surf break at Manu Bay.
5. Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari provides magnificent treks and wilderness walks, as well as guided tours and a sanctuary for native New Zealand birds and other animals, including several endangered species. Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, south of Hamilton, is one of New Zealand's most spectacular conservation efforts. This mountain's entire perimeter is predator-proof, allowing rare native species to thrive. Find kaka, hihi, tieke, takahe, kakariki, and kokako, as well as the usual suspects like tui, piwakawaka, kereru, and bellbird, by following the trails. After dark, you can arrange for a guided tour to hear kiwi and ruru and observe glowworms.
6. Lake Karapiro's
Lake Karapiro is a man-made reservoir lake on the Waikato River in Karapiro, 8 kilometers south-east of Cambridge. Lake Karapiro's tranquil waters are ideal for an on-the-water experience incorporating kayaks or paddle boards. Back on dry land, have a picnic and stroll or bike the Lake Karapiro part of Te Awa, New Zealand's Great River Ride. The lake is a great place to swim in the summer.
7. Bridal Veil Falls
The Pakoka River leads to the top of the Waireinga/Bridal Veil Falls, which is an excellent short trek through native forest. This portion of track is ideal for children's pushchairs and is designed for assisted wheelchair use. There are two viewing platforms at the top of the falls that offer breathtaking views of the falls and surrounding landscape. The track then dips steeply down stairs to a halfway point.