- Spirit Cave, WaitomoSurfer catching a wave, Raglan – Waikato Right
Hamilton & Waikato
Well-known for its nature-based tourism, underground adventure, Middle-earth movie magic and iconic Waikato River, the Hamilton & Waikato region offers something for everyone.
From stunning black sand surf beaches, rolling hills and ancient bush-clad mountains that shape the landscape to a vibrant cafe and restaurant scene and iconic events.
At the heart of the region are its towns and main city of Hamilton, the regions metropolitan hub, each with its own character and charm, and all with great shops, galleries and fantastic eateries.
An hour south of Hamilton and millions of years in the making, Waitomo is one of New Zealand’s most inspiring natural wonders. Known for its labyrinth of limestone caves, weird and wonderful rock formations, subterranean adventures and magical glowworms, Waitomo is a must-see destination. With a wealth of protected park land and volcanic ranges, the region also offers a wide range of walking and biking trails showcasing diverse scenery and has three of New Zealand Cycle Trails ‘Great Rides’ situated throughout. Indulgent spa experiences abound in naturally geothermal waters and the region’s stunning west coast, lakes and rivers offer great kayaking, surfing and cruising.
Home to the Maori King, the region has been a significant area for Maori for centuries, while a slice of the ‘real Middle-earth’, as seen in the epic adaption of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, can also be found amongst the lush countryside near Matamata.