Situated in the central North Island, the diverse Hamilton & Waikato region is well known for its nature-based tourism, underground wonders, Middle-earth movie magic and iconic Waikato River. The region offers something for every visitor, from Hamilton City’s urban attractions to the stunning black sand surf beaches of Raglan and the rolling hills and ancient bush-clad mountains that shape the landscape.
The subterranean playground of glowworms, black water rafting, abseiling and cave exploration in Waitomo will be a hit with even the most seasoned traveller, while a wealth of protected park land and mountain ranges means the region also offers a fantastic array of walking, hiking and cycling tracks, including three of the nation's ‘Great Rides’ – The Timber Trail,Hauraki Rail Trail and the Waikato River Trails.
A slice of the ‘real Middle-earth’, as seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, can be found near Matamata at Hobbiton Movie Set, while the finer things in life are also plentiful in the region, including top golf courses, boutique fashion stores and rejuvenating natural hot pools. The Hamilton & Waikato region features a number of gourmet experiences – from vineyards and microbreweries to award-winning eateries and artisan producers. Bustling farmers’ markets are dotted among the charming rural towns, while fine dining can be found in the region’s main city of Hamilton.
At the heart of the Hamilton & Waikato region are its city and towns, each with their own character and charm. The hub of the region is the metropolitan city of Hamilton where sophistication meets a friendly kiwi lifestyle.
Home to the Maori King, the Hamilton & Waikato region has been a significant area for Maori for centuries, ever since the great voyaging Tainui waka (canoe) made andfall in Kawhia. Maori place names tell the story of the region, with Waikato meaning “flowing water”, named after the people of the Tainui waka observed the river’s strong pull into the sea.
Along with its proud Maori heritage, the region is one of the world’s richest agricultural areas and is well recognised as a centre for innovation and creativity across a wide range of industry, technology and business sectors.
Visiting From Outside New Zealand
Travelling to New Zealand is easy. For practical information and travel advice before you leave, click here
Before travelling to a country, you need to know the basic facts. New Zealand is a small country, similar in size to Great Britain or Japan. With a population of just over 4 million people it is gloriously uncrowded. Learn more about New Zealand here www.newzealand.com/int/facts
When you arrive, you’ll need to ensure your passport is valid for at least three months beyond your intended departure date, and if required, have a valid New Zealand visa.
You do not need a visa to visit New Zealand if you are:
• A New Zealand or Australian citizen or resident, or
• A UK citizen and/or passport holder (you can stay up to six months), or
• A citizen of a country which has a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand (you can stay up to three months)
If you don’t meet the criteria above, then you will need to apply for a Visitor Visa by clicking here
In order to protect New Zealand and its environment, certain items are not allowed to be brought into the country, have restrictions for entry, or must be declared if they are deemed to present a biosecurity risk. These include food, plants, animal products and outdoor recreational equipment. You may risk a fine if you fail to comply.
No vaccinations are required to visit New Zealand.
Currency & costs
The currency used is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD).
Climate and Temperature
The climate in the Hamilton & Waikato region is fairly temperate with sunshine hours averaging 2000 to 2100 per year. Summer temperatures tend to be in the low to mid 20s with a few days reaching around 30 degrees celsius. Winter temperatures average between 5-14 degrees Celsius, and fog and frosts can sometimes occur at this time of year; late summer is usually settled and dry.
September to November average temperature:
High: 18 degrees Celsius
Low: 8 degrees Celsius
City Limits Childcare, 729 Grey St, Claudelands – daycare centre for children from babies to 5 years old. Open 7.30am-5.30pm. Phone: (07) 855 0656, Web: www.citylimits.co.nz. Can take casual enrolments from NZ or international residents, subject to availability.
ABC Claudelands, 2E Brooklyn Rd, Claudelands - daycare centre for children from babies to 5 years old. Open 7.30am-5.30pm. Phone: (07) 855 5972, Web: www.best-start.org/centres/abc-claudelands. Can take casual enrolments from NZ residents, subject to availability.
Rock My Baby – babysitting/nannying service. Flexible location. Phone: 0800 762 569, Web: www.rockmybaby.co.nz
The region’s central location means it’s readily accessible and easy to get around with most attractions within two hours’ drive of Hamilton City.
Air services operate through Hamilton Airport providing daily domestic flights to and from most destinations throughout New Zealand, while Kiwirail offers a convenient alternative to flying or driving. From Hamilton the rail service ‘The Northern Explorer’ operates to Auckland in the north and as far south as Wellington.
Main highways pass through the region, including State Highway 1, which takes in Cambridge and Tirau as well as Hamilton City, and connects via the expressway to Auckland in the north and Taupo in the south. State Highway 3 takes in Waitomo along with neighbouring towns Otorohanga and Te Kuiti.
For more information and guidelines on driving in New Zealand visit:
Hamilton Taxi Companies
Hamilton Rental Car Companies
Hamilton Shuttle Companies
The Intercity Bus