RegionAll The Coromandel Bay of Plenty Tairāwhiti Gisborne Hawke's Bay Ruapehu Taupo Rotorua Waikato
Discover one of the North Island’s unique and relatively unexplored destinations, in and around the Mighty Waikato.
With its lush fertile farmland, quiet rustic rural towns, rugged western coastline of Port Waikato to Awhitu (Manukau Heads), the scenic seabird coastline of the Manukau and Firth of Thames, plus our rich history and culture, Franklin has so much to offer domestic and international travellers.
Situated close to the junctions of State Highway 1 and 2, 45 min from Auckland International Airport, this area provides the perfect place to start or finish your New Zealand journey. Franklin particularly appeals to the young to mature traveller, who seeks adventure, away from the crowds.
Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari which is fondly known by locals as ‘the maunga’, is a very special place to visit due to the sheer enormity of the project, at 3400 hectares, the maunga is by far the largest pest-proof fenced project in the world. This extraordinary pest-proof fence is 47km long and offers a safe haven for many of New Zealand’s most endangered species including kiwi, takahē, tuatara and kaka. It’s location in the central North Island of mainland New Zealand makes this an accessible destination for visitors.
The Red Barn is a unique, privately-owned group dining venue located on a picturesque 500-acre Dairy Farm in the Waikato region. Combining rustic charm, exceptional attention to detail and friendly Kiwi hospitality. The historical Red Barn has stunning 360-degree views of the Kaimai Ranges, Mount Maungatautari and the greater Waikato countryside and is Centrally located between Hamilton, Cambridge, Tauranga and Rotorua. Offering exceptional group dining, including delicious morning and afternoon tea’s, country style lunches and numerous dinner options. Dairy Farm Tours are also available exclusively for groups. The Red Barn also offers an exclusive ‘Taste of Waikato’ six-course degustation experience.
Hamilton City is one of the nation’s best spots for café culture and boasts many award-winning restaurants and eateries. Dine with a view of the mighty Waikato River at Gothenburg or head to the new Victoria on the River precinct which is home to Bahn-Mi, Mr Pickles and Duck Island Ice Cream.
Just outside Waitomo Village is the Mangapohue Natural Bridge.With a 17m high limestone arch; the remains of an ancient cave system. Take an easy 5 minute stroll along the boardwalk as it weaves its way through the impressive limestone gorge bringing you underneath the stunning natural bridge. You can then continue along the track for a 20 minute loop walk that takes in superb views of the natural bridge and gorge, stalactite-like formations, farmland and 25 million year old fossilised oysters that are exposed in the limestone outcrops.
Just 10 minutes’ drive from Matamata, the Wairere Falls is the highest waterfall in the North Island and a popular walking track in the Waikato. The sight from the viewing platform is spectacular – water plunges 153 meters over the falls, before forming little streamlets that flow through moss covered rocks and ferns. You can continue on to reach the top where you will be rewarded with spectacular views across the Waikato landscape.
The native forest and birdlife of the Hakarimata Range provides the perfect setting for a day out in one of the Waikato region’s most beautiful landscapes. Located in the town Ngaruawahia, the ranges include 1,850 hectares of native forest protected in Hakarimata Scenic Reserve. A walk in the reserve will reward you with babbling streams, picturesque waterfalls and impressive views over the surrounding countryside. The summit track features the infamous stair climb, a popular challenge amongst locals.
Ibis Tainui is the gateway to the Waikato region. The hotel presents one of the only restaurants in the city with stunning views of the Waikato River - a great place to enjoy al fresco dining on the balcony. With riverside rooms available, the exceptional views continue in the accommodation rooms. Minutes from Hamilton’s major convention & event facilities, its distinctive CBD location ensures accessibility with valet parking available. Offering modern conference facilities it is the ideal place for business or leisure.
Novotel Tainui Hamilton offers contemporary guest rooms and suites filled with natural light and modern decor. Located on the banks of the Waikato River, in the heart of the city, it's an easy stroll to attractions and activities such as SkyCity Hamilton casino and Waikato Stadium. Explore dining and shopping options nearby, or travel a little further afield to experience the wonder of the region's Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Hobbiton movie set. Enjoy the buffet breakfast in the restaurant or on the terrace adjacent to the Waikato River.
Only 15 minutes’ drive from Raglan, the spectacular 55-metre-high Bridal Veil Falls, also known as the Wairēinga Falls is a popular Waikato walking track. The Wairēinga/Bridal Veil Falls walk 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, both providing stunning vistas and ample photo opportunities of the plunging white falls flanked by grey rock and green bush.