New Zealand is hailed for its natural beauty and Hamilton is no exception with its picturesque countryside setting. The gateway to the central North Island, Hamilton (or Kirikiriroa in Maori), is New Zealand’s largest inland city, straddling the superb Waikato River and is known for its walks, gardens, cafes and nightlife.
The visually stunning Hamilton Gardens are webbed by paths that journey through a gallery of themed gardens from grand Italy to tranquil Asia. In the 1960s, a bleak rubbish dump sat alongside the Waikato River. No one could imagine that such a barren mess would become an award-winning public garden, and the Waikato’s most popular visitor attraction. The themed gardens are open from 7:30am to dusk every day of the year. www.hamiltongardens.co.nz or phone (07) 958 5940.
Home to over 600 native and exotic animals, including the largest walk-through aviary in New Zealand dedicated to native birds and plants. Set amidst 25ha of lush and tranquil surroundings, Hamilton Zoo is the ideal destination for a memorable day out. There's a lot to get around, but if you need a break swing by the on site cafe and check out the delicious treats, or dine al fresco in one of our scenic picnic areas. https://hamiltonzoo.co.nz/
Waitomo is a village on the North Island of New Zealand. It’s known for its extensive underground cave systems. Thousands of glow-worms light up the Glowworm Caves. The vast Ruakuri Cave features waterfalls and limestone formations. West, Mangapohue Natural Bridge is a high limestone arch over Mangapohue Stream. Northeast of the village, Otorohanga Kiwi House shelters several species of the rare native kiwi bird. https://www.waitomo.com/
Widely regarded as a Waikato icon, Zealong Tea Estate is the only commercial tea estate in New Zealand, producing 100% organic award-winning tea. The estate is a world-leading destination for tea, art and hospitality in an unrivaled setting. Offering serene views, a variety of function venues, public activities and tours, our multi-talented team is dedicated to creating an extraordinary guest experience every day. https://zealong.com/
In 1998, Sir Peter Jackson’s team of location scouts were searching for the iconic rolling hills and lush green pastures of Hobbiton™. An aerial search led them to the Alexander farm, a stunning 1,250 acre sheep farm in the heart of the Waikato. They noted the area’s striking similarity to The Shire™, as described by JRR Tolkien, and quickly realised that the Hobbits™ had found a home. The beautiful movie set includes 44 permanently reconstructed Hobbit Holes, in the same fantastic detail seen in the movies. https://www.hobbitontours.com/en/