Located in the North Island region of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand is truly a unique and beautiful destination offering everything from stunning gardens to arts, culture, and incredible dining experiences. It lays on the Eastern side of the island, along the Pacific with views of coastal mountains and the Sea. The weather typically has two seasons warmer, and cooler, with January and February being the ‘summer type’ months which are the driest and most temperate. The further South tends to be on the cooler side, but generally Hamilton, New Zealand offers relatively mild temperatures all year. Here are the best things to do in Hamilton!
1. Hamilton Town Belt
Described as local parks throughout the Waikato region, the Hamilton Town Belt is a paradise for those that love to relax in a natural setting. Hamilton, NZ has over 200 parks in it’s region, and each one is meticulously manicured and inviting. They range from large sports fields to quaint heritage parks enjoyed by locals on those sunny days, and don’t miss the Native Maori Heritage Sculptures at the entrance of Hamilton Gardens!
Hamilton Town Belt
Website: Hamilton Town Belt
2. St. Peter's Cathedral
This Anglican church has 8 bells that chime every Wednesday at 7.30pm – 9.15pm (Pacific Standard Time), and then every Sunday between 9:00am-9:45am, as well as every fourth Sunday between 5:00pm-6:00pm, again all Pacific Standard Time. This is a beautiful sound that rings through the Waikato region and is something one must truly experience for the full effect. The Church construction was complete in 1915, after several attempts at building an adequate worship location for the locals! Modeled after a 15th century church in Norfolk, England, this immaculate building offers both visual and listening pleasure!
St. Peter's Cathedral
Address: 51 Victoria St, Hamilton 3204, New Zealand
Website: St. Peter’s Cathedral
3. Waitomo Caves
What better way to visit New Zealand than to see gloworms in their natural habitat? You won’t want to miss this opportunity. Waitomo Caves are a spectacular sight, along with native New Zealand Arachnocampa Luminosa, the fascinating gloworm species that exist only here! Of course, their is so much more to see at the caves such as stunning limestone formations and an optional black water abyss tour where you would need to wear a wet suit! The Ruakuri Cave is a stunning display of formations and is also wheelchair friendly.
Read our article for more information on the best things to do in Waitomo Caves.
Address: 39 Waitomo Village Road (formerly Waitomo Caves Road) Waitomo Caves Private Bag 501 Waitomo
Website: Waitomo Caves
4. Memorial Park Old Fort Hill
A place to reflect on those that were lost during war. A large memorial with an old white-cross cemetery is a site to see as well. Along with the fort, you will also have the opportunity to see a ‘spitfire’ replica on display. Set in beautiful and serene landscaped gardens, Memorial Park is just one of the many lovely parks and gardens of Hamilton, New Zealand.
Memorial Park Old Fort Hill
Address: Memorial Drive | Hamilton East, Hamilton 3216, New Zealand
Website: Memorial Park Old Fort Hill
5. ArtsPost Gallery
Hamilton is very contributor to the arts and culture scene of New Zealand. The locals take great pride in their native indigenous artwork. ArtsPost Gallery is located in a beautiful old post office heritage building and free admission for all art lovers. There are a total of three galleries offering a unique collection of local work, multi-media and exhibits that change regularly. For one to truly understand the city of Hamilton, a trip to ArtsPost is a great way to experience life as a local.
Address: 120 Victoria St Hamilton New Zealand
Website: ArtsPost Gallery
6. Gourmet in the Gardens
Held at the beautiful location of Hamilton Gardens is the summer international festival of ‘Gourmet in the Gardens’. This event runs from October - March every Sunday where you can enjoy phenomenal international cuisine and entertainment surrounded by the beautiful gardens. Definitely a great way to blend in with the locals and truly experience Hamilton, New Zealand!
Gourmet in the Gardens
Address: Hungerford Crescent, Hamilton 3216, New Zealand
Website: Gourmet in the Gardens
7. Hamilton Zoo
Who doesn’t love a safari adventure! More than a zoo, this is an ecologically friendly environment that provides the animals a habitat that is natural to them. Over 25 Hectares (61 Acres) is dedicated to the animals, and a fun and family friendly event to enjoy the day. Educational for children, and 10% of proceeds goes back to the animal conservation.
Address: 183 Brymer Rd, Hamilton 3289, New Zealand
Website: Hamilton Zoo
8. Waikato Museum
The museum’s full name is ‘Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato’, and has a display of over 28,000 items! Feature interactive exhibits change regularly keeping the museum up to date, and a fascinating place to visit! Te Whare Waka o Te Winika at 'Gallery 6’ displays a 200 year old canoe built by the native Ngaati Tipa of the western coastline of the Waikato region. Not only will you find a rich history at Waikato Museum, but the museum is also the winner of the National Contemporary Art Award for several years! Waikato Museum has a very nice selection of displays to view for everyone.
Address: 1 Grantham St, Hamilton 3204, New Zealand
Website: Waikato Museum
9. Taitua Arboretum
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
If you love trees like I do… then the Taitua Arboretum is one destination to not miss. A Beautiful, breathtaking area over 20 hectares of open fields, lakes and woodland gardens to roam through. John and Bunny Mortimer had started planting native and exotic trees to keep animals in the area sheltered in 1973. They donated the land to the city of Hamilton, and now the arboretum offers winding pathways and perfect picnic areas to just relax and spend a quiet day, and for free! Definitely a place to enjoy the lovely New Zealand climate!
Address: Taitua Rd, Temple View, Hamilton 3289, New Zealand
Website: Taitua Arboretum
A True New Zealand City
This beautiful island city has so much to offer to visitors and residents, from a lovely collection of exotic gardens to art galleries and museums. Hamilton is a cultural, bustling city located along the Waikato River with a plethora of restaurants, bars, cafes and quiet areas as well! Visit Hamilton, and experience what North Island New Zealand is all about!
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