On the banks of Waikato River in North Island
Language: English, Maori
Best Time to Visit: May to October
Time Zone: NZST (UTC+12)
Driving Side: Right Side
Main Attractions: Hamilton Gardens, Waikato Museum of Art and History, The Founders’ Memorial Theatre, Kawhia Harbour, Lake House, Waitomo Caves, Pirongia Forest Park, Left Bank Theatre, Te Puia Hot Springs
Whether you want to stroll through to view scenic landscapes, or go bungee jumping, hot air ballooning, jet-boating, cruising, fishing, the city of Hamilton has it all. The fourth largest urban area in New Zealand, Hamilton is sited on the banks of Waikato River in the Waikato region of the North Island. The green scenery, vast cave systems, huge sink holes and underground streams provide numerous opportunities for exploration and adventure to travelers. Apart from the serpentine beauty of the Waikato River, the city offers you to experience its vibrant nightlife scenes, and leisurely walk around Hamilton’s beautiful parks, gardens and calm waters. These exceptionally marvelous and spectacular attractions are sure to give you reasons for coming back to this wonderful part of New Zealand. Discover the places to see and things to do in Hamilton by surfing through the lines herein.
Places To See In Hamilton
The world-renowned Hamilton Gardens are a must-see attraction on your travel itinerary. Located on the banks of the majestic Waikato River, these magnificent gardens display classic examples of garden designs, such as the Italian Renaissance Garden, Chinese Scholar’s Garden, Japanese Garden of Contemplation, American Modernist Garden, Indian Char Bagh Garden, and Victorian Flower Garden.
Sitting proudly along the Waikato River, the Waikato Museum is an ideal place to discover and experience the rich culture and heritage of Hamilton. The museum has 12 galleries exhibiting long-term and touring exhibitions. However, the main attraction is the majestic 200-year old carved Waka Taua (Maori war canoe) - Te Winika, a magnificent artwork made by famous New Zealand and regional artists.
Come to Hamilton Zoo and relive your childhood memories. Just 7 minutes off downtown Hamilton on Brymer Road, the zoo is a 14 hectare site serving as a natural habitat for numerous mammals, like American bison, tamarin, Kune Kune pig, red panda and ruffed lemur; over 200 native and exotic bird species, such as blue peafowl, harrier, swan goose, morepork and regent parrot; and several unique and unusual reptiles, like blue-tongued lizard, forest gecko, robust skink, tuatara and water dragon.
Bridal Veil Falls
While you are touring Hamilton, do not miss out to capture the mesmerizing Bridal Veil Falls in your camera. Walk up to the top of the falls to get the best view. To view the fall of the 55 meter high water, use the steep steps beside the falls to reach the bottom of the falls. The water lands into a pool surrounded by numerous rocks made of soft sandstones worn down by River Pakoka. Stand at the base of the water and hold your head high up to see the band of hard basalt rocks that form a white veil. This spectacular view makes Bridal Veil Falls one of the most distinguishing attractions in Hamilton.
Your trip to Hamilton is incomplete without visiting the marvelous Kawhia Harbor. Located 40 kilometer southwest of Hamilton, this harbor is one of three large natural inlets into the Tasman Sea coast off the Waikato region. The charming town of Kawhia that surrounds the harbor is a holiday resort, offering various water activities and tours. However, it is the hot water that attracts most of the tourists. The geo-thermally heated water on Te Puia Beach is an ideal destination to soak yourself into a hot swim.
A one hour drive from Hamilton lands you at world famous limestone caves at Waitomo. For all you adventure lovers, the exploratory Waitomo offers you glowworm caves, black water rafting, cave abseiling (rappelling), cave eco-tours, and picturesque landscapes. Capture the magical glowworms sparkling as you glide through the caves by boat. Move ahead towards Ruakuri cave to admire the crystal tapestries second to none.