Hamilton is New Zealand’s River City.
New Zealand’s fourth largest city is a service based town supporting the fertile plains of the Waikato. Together with its relative lack of topographic features Hamilton can appear featureless, considerable suburbian spread flat and uninteresting. Visitors tend to scoot through Hamilton on their way to Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves. Hamilton is underrated and has urban charm together with lush countryside at its fingertips to explore.
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.
Best time to visit
Year round. Winter river fog makes for those misty atmospheric moments, layer up and enjoy the outdoors.
Hamilton has a domestic airport however it is connected to Auckland with a motorway system and is less than an hour away from major North Island cities.
While Hamilton has a public bus system either walking / cycling or driving is the easiest way to move around the city.
Highlights, must see activities:
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. The walkway embraces native bush, planted parks and gardens and residential areas where communities could be part of our walk exploration. The walkway is a shared cycle / walk / jogging area.
Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park
Baverstock, Hamilton 3289, New Zealand
Queenwood, Hamilton 3210, New Zealand
Hamilton Lake Domain
Ruakiwi Road, Hamilton Lake, Hamilton 3204, New Zealand
Claudelands Bush (Jubilee Park Boardwalk)
Te Papanui / Jubilee Park entrances 109, Boundary Road, Fairfield, Hamilton 3214, New Zealand
Hungerford Crescent, Hamilton 3216, New Zealand
25 Taitua Road, Temple View, Hamilton 3289, New Zealand
Public artworks and installations:
210 Victoria Street, Hamilton 3204, New Zealand
Hamilton Gardens Gate 1, Cobham Drive, New Zealand
The Farming Family
Cnr Ulster and Victoria Street, Central City, Hamilton, New Zealand
Te Tiaho O Matariki
Garden Place, Hamilton, New Zealand
Te Waharoa Ki Te Ao Maarama
Lake Domain Reserve, Corner of Pembroke and Ruakiwi Road, Hamilton, New Zealand
Between trees outside the Waikato Grantham Street
Te Ohomauri O Matariki
Borman Road and Resolution Drive roundabout
Tekoteko and Maihi Carvings
1 Grantham Street, Hamilton 3204, New Zealand
Hamilton Gardens near Gate 2
Tongue of the Dog
114 Victoria Street, Hamilton 3204, New Zealand
Sapper Moore-Jones Memorial Statue
155 Victoria Street, Central Hamilton
Memorial Park, Memorial Drive, Central Hamilton
Boon Street Art
Hamilton CBD, Hamilton East
Te Pumanawa O Te Whenua - Beat Connection
Claudelands, Hamilton 3214, New Zealand
Grantham Street, Hamilton 3204, New Zealand
Te Tatau Ki Kirikiriroa sculpture - VOTR
Victoria Street, Hamilton 3204, New Zealand
Waipa, New Zealand
5 Lynden Court, Chartwell, Hamilton 3210, New Zealand
100 Victoria Street, Hamilton 3204, New Zealand
ArtsPost Galleries & Shop
120 Victoria Street, Hamilton 3204
New Zealand 11 Railside Place, Dinsdale, Hamilton 3204, New Zealand
Camera Museum, Snapshot
391 Victoria St, Hamilton, NZ, New Zealand
The city centre has a number of second hand shops especially in the city centre. They are clustered around Liverpool Street, Ulster Street, River Road and Te Aroha Street in Hamilton Central.
The Base on Te Rapa Road. This huge shopping centre is a large retail mall where pretty much everything you would want can be found there. Dress-Smart Outlet Shopping Centre is located at The Base. Other major retail centres are Chartwell Shopping Centre & Centre Place, part of the CBD.
Hamilton has the requisite Farmers Market Waikato Farmers Market and Food Night Markets (venue The Base). Check online for up to date information for opening hours and venues.
Hamilton Zoo has individual face2face encounters and keeper talks. The Zoo has an extensive younger person programme as well as school holiday programme.
Commercial galleries are flourishing in Hamilton due to its proximity to Auckland, its local vibrant arts scene and the support offered to the central North Island art communities from Raglan to the Coromandel. There are over 20 galleries within the Hamilton area alone.
This section covers the central North Island with major attractions less than 1 hour driving time.
Day trips to Rotorua / Taupo:
The journey is worth it.