10 Best Things To Do In Cambridge, NZ: A Warm, Small-Town Destination

things to do in cambridge nz

Known as the “town of trees and champions,” Cambridge, New Zealand, is the ideal destination for nature lovers and history aficionados. A visit here will surely give any traveler a curious and charming small-town experience, filled with explorations of the area’s most significant sites. From art galleries and local restaurants to lakefronts and biking trails, there are so many exciting places to visit in this town! Read more to find out about Cambridge’s must-see spots.

1. Take a trip on Lake Karapiro with the Boatshed Kayaks

Lake Karapiro (panorama)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ulrich Lange, Boc... used under CC BY-SA 4.0

For a few hours of serenity, visit the Boatshed Kayaks, for a relaxing kayak trip on Lake Karapiro. You will be provided with all of the necessary equipment required for the trip, along with a fresh meal to eat, once you return. Whether you take the trip in the daytime or in the evening, there is no question you will witness an incredibly scenic view!

The Boatshed Kayaks

Phone: +64 7-827-8286

Address: 21 Amber Lane | Lake Karapiro, Cambridge 3494, New Zealand

Website: The Boatshed Kayaks

2. Enjoy a movie with delectable platters of food at the Tivoli Cinema

Tivoli delmar
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Matthew Black used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Another place you should visit in Cambridge, to experience its small-town atmosphere, is the Tivoli Cinema. This theater is quite intimate, so it differs from the feel of a usual movie theater. There are a host of refreshments provided, including wine, tea, coffee, cheese and biscuits. The theater space is extremely comfortable, with cushions and blankets if you get cold.

Tivoli Cinema

Phone: +64 7-823-5064

Address: 32 Lake Street, Cambridge 3434, New Zealand

Website: Tivoli Cinema

3. Revel in the phenomenal views at the Maungakawa Scenic Reserve

Maungakawa scenic reserve
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Johnragla used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Cambridge has a few sites where you can lose yourself in the beauty of the outdoor surroundings and Maungakawa Scenic Reserve is one of those places. A brisk hike up this bush trail will grant you panoramic views of the landscape, especially on a clear day. There are plenty of birds who reside in the reserve, so you will enjoy their sweet songs as you walk along the pathways.

Maungakawa Scenic Reserve

Address: Maungakawa Rd, Cambridge 3496, New Zealand

Website: Maungakawa Scenic Reserve

4. Stroll through the beautiful surroundings at Lake Te Koutu

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Another place where you can enjoy the tranquility of nature, Lake Te Koutu is surrounded by plenty of wonderful nature to walk amongst. There are two trails near this lake, where you can stroll and enjoy the peace of the outdoors. There is also a hidden waterfall, if you explore the area enough to find it.

Lake Te Koutu

Address: Te Koutu Lake, Cambridge 3434, New Zealand

5. Explore the city’s history at the Cambridge Museum

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

An eclectic addition to the town of Cambridge, the Cambridge Museum is brimming with a wealth of information about the area’s local history. Admission to this museum is free and the feel of the area is just as intimate as the town, itself. There are plenty of interesting artifacts and bits of information that you will come across, if you spend a few hours here.

Cambridge Museum

Phone: +64 7-827-3319

Address: Cambridge 3434 24 Victoria Street | The Old Courthouse, Cambridge 3434, New Zealand

Website: Cambridge Museum

6. Walk or bike along Te Awa, the Great New Zealand River Ride

Waikato river 750px
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user [Unknown] used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

One of the main attractions of Cambridge is the Great New Zealand River Ride. Situated along the banks of the Waikato River, this attraction includes a few pathways for cyclists and walkers to explore the area. One end of the path includes a café and cycle shop, while the other end leads to Lake Karapiro.

Te Awa - The Great New Zealand River Ride

Address: St Peters School Rd, Cambridge, New Zealand

Website: The Great New Zealand River Ride

7. Purchase artisan cheese and gourmet food at Over the Moon Dairy

Artisan Cheese Selection
Source: Photo by Flickr user HarshLight used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

For all cheese or ice-cream lovers, a visit to Over the Moon Dairy is absolutely essential, during any visit to Cambridge. As a business that creates and sells its own dairy products, Over the Moon Dairy offers a variety of options for those wishing to purchase artisan cheeses and gourmet foods. They even have gift baskets and wrapping options if you would like to purchase some of the cheese as a present.

Over the Moon Dairy

Phone: +64 7-827-5968

Address: 70b Victoria Street, Cambridge 3434, New Zealand

Website: Over the Moon Dairy

8. Browse through the art galleries at the Garden Art Studio

Ceramic Art
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jdp1125 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Complete with a variety of exhibits, the Garden Art Studio is an excellent place to visit for an hour out of your day in Cambridge. The style of the gallery is eclectic and varied, with different types of art, including metal work, ceramic art, and outdoor exhibits. They also sell quirky gifts, so it is a great place to collect a souvenir to remember your travels!

The Garden Art Studio

Phone: +64 7-823-9135

Address: 1234 Kaipaki Road | RD3, Cambridge, Cambridge 3434, New Zealand

Website: The Garden Art Studio

9. Eat authentic New Zealand food at Alpha Street Kitchen

Charcuterie and cheese plate (16197681230)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ruth Hartnup used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

A popular restaurant with locals, Alpha Street Kitchen is perfect for those wishing to dine fancy, in the town of Cambridge. From the decor to the serving style to the list of wine, this restaurant is at its prime. For a spectacular night out, visit Alpha Street Kitchen and enjoy something from the vast options on their menu.

Alpha Street Kitchen

Phone: +64 7-827-5596

Address: 47 Alpha Street, 3434, Cambridge, Waikato Region, North Island, Cambridge 3434, New Zealand

Website: Alpha Street Kitchen

10. Taste delicious pastries and baked goods at the Lily Pad Cafe

Coffee and pastry
Source: Pexels

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Located next to the Garden Art Studio, the Lily Pad Café is perfect for those who enjoy coffee and deliciously sweet pastries. The space of the café is beautifully decorated, with cozy furniture and an enchanting ceiling covered in a canopy of leaves. There is also a fireplace, to make the ambiance even warmer and more inviting.

The Lily Pad Café

Phone: +64 7-823-9154

Address: 1234 Kaipaki Road, Cambridge 3495, New Zealand

Website: The Lily Pad Café

Snuggle up in the small-town atmosphere of Cambridge, New Zealand

View from River Cottage
Source: Photo by user Jenny Hudson used under CC BY 2.0

An exceptionally warm, small town, Cambridge is the place to visit when you are in need of an escape from your usual hectic lifestyle. A visit here will give you the peace and quiet to breathe and the intimate atmosphere of the town will warm you from the inside. Visit Cambridge and experience its list of charms, for a perfectly relaxing vacation.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Izza Qureshi is a creative writer and artist residing in the Washington, D.C. area, but her mind is likely floating somewhere in the cosmos. Fascinated by the mysterious of the unknown world, she...Read more

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