A varied and surprising destination, rich in farmland, Maori heritage and outdoor adventures aplenty.

Waikato Destinations



© Tourism Waikato



From five-star exclusive luxury lodges to simple backpacker hostel accommodation, the Waikato region offers something for every style.

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 Balloons over Waikato Night Glow, Tourism Waikato  Tourism Waikato



The Waikato region is a great place to both relax and be active. Try black water rafting, hot-air ballooning, or see the glowworms in the Waitomo cave system.

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About Waikato

Hamilton is the commercial heart of the largely rural region of Waikato. Home to a succesful university and polytechnic, Hamilton has a vibrant student culture. On the banks of the winding Waikato River, Hamilton offers some lovely scenic walks as well as your usual inner-city attractions: restaurants, bars, shops and amenities. Don't miss the art gallery, museum and renowned Hamilton Gardens.

Raglan, on the region's west coast about an hour's drive from Hamilton, is world famous for its left hand surf break. Popular with surfers and holiday makers alike, Raglan is characterised by its small-town, laid-back lifestyle. A great place to relax!

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How do you get to Waikato?

  • Travel by Plane
    • Hamilton International Airport is the only airport in the region. Located 15 minutes' drive from Hamilton city, the airport is serviced by 2 domestic airlines travelling a number of domestic routes as well as routes to and from Australia and Fiji.
  • Travel by Train
    • The Overlander train service stops at Hamilton on both its north-bound and south-bound route between Auckland and Wellington. The service takes 2 hours and 20 minutes from Hamilton to Auckland, and around 10 hours from Hamilton to Wellington.
  • Travel by Bus
    • Many NI bus networks include Hamilton as a pick-up or drop-off destination and may stop on demand in some of the Waikato's smaller areas. A public bus system services Hamilton city. There is a free shuttle that loops the central city every 10 minutes
  • Rent a Vehicle
    • Several major car rental and motorhome hire companies have depots at Hamilton Airport or in Hamilton City.