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Waikato: Central North Island road trip


Indian Char Bagh Garden in Hamilton Gardens Indian Char Bagh Garden in Hamilton Gardens

Hamilton, perhaps the most underrated city in Aotearoa New Zealand to visit. Definitely not overcrowded with plenty of space to breathe deeply. Hamilton is New Zealand’s River City. Visitors tend to scoot through Hamilton on their way to Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves. Hamilton’s trump card is the majestic Waikato River. A grand sweep of water, waterways and verdant green is the city’s calling card. The temptation to slip outdoors and explore the fabulous river walks makes Hamilton a great destination. One minute at a cafe next weaving your way through the quiet of the Waikato River walks. Green spaces galore, water and waterways Hamilton and its pastoral economy provide a great foil for visitors to relax and enjoy a city where the countryside has been invited into the urban spaces.

Read more Hamilton travel guide, activities, best things to do & see: Best Bits

Waikato River in Hamilton

Hamilton’s funky cafe scene is summed up with a cafe with a view. Cafes and Hamilton,  the place is bursting with great places to eat and drink.

The list is not exhaustive or is it the best cafes in Hamilton. Rather it is about a few great cafes with excellent reviews. Enjoy a cafe break on your day exploring what Hamilton has to offer visitors.

Read more In a day shopping in Hamilton,
Hamilton 7 great cafes, In a day in Hamilton with the kids in winter.


  • Ballooning over the Waikato with a champagne breakfast as a finale
  • Walk along the majestic Waikato River on the Riverside Walkway. The walkway is extensive, over 11 km of boardwalks and wide easy tracks accessibles at multiple points along the city centre.
  • Check out ArtsPost shops and gallery
  • Visit Hamilton Zoo with a walk through the largest aviary in Australia and New Zealand
Balloons over Waikato festival, Hamilton


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