Waikato, North Island

including Hamilton`

Waikato family holiday

Waikato family holiday

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Welcome to Waikato and Hamilton

Hamilton

About one hour’s drive from Auckland is the city of Hamilton, New Zealand’s largest inland city with a population of around 159,000. Named Hamilton after Captain John Hamilton, the city was originally the site of a handful of Maori villages. Located in the middle of the Waikato, Hamilton is built around the longest river in New Zealand, the Waikato, which connects Hamilton to the ocean. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes in this city, with its large student population, and there is plenty to see and do, including the beautiful themed gardens, the Museum and Theatre and the Zoo which is set in landscaped gardens and is home to over 400 exotic birds and animals.

The Waikato

The Waikato (the Maori word for flowing water) is famous for its glowworm caves in Waitomo. Millions of years old and a base for black-water rafting and abseiling, the caves offer the opportunity for the less adventurous as well, with tours through the caves to wonder at the beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. The Waikato also has stunning waterfalls, landscapes and beaches to explore. Visit the unique Kiwi Culture Show or the Kiwi House and Bird Park at Otorohanga. Whether it’s the countryside, beach or wildlife you are interested in, the Waikato has something to offer everybody.

Raglan

On the west coast, 45 minutes away from Hamilton is Raglan, a small harbour town with plenty of outdoor entertainment. Although famous for its great surfing beaches, Raglan is also well known for its black sand beaches and has the best and safest swimming for children in the area. Take a walk to spectacular Bridal Veil Falls or enjoy fishing, kayaking or mountainbiking in one of the most unspoilt places in NZ.

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Map of New Zealand
  • Queenstown
  • Northland
  • Wanaka
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Fiordland
  • Taupo
  • Coromandel
  • North Canterbury
  • Gisborne
  • South Canterbury
  • Waikato
  • Nelson & Golden Bay
  • Hawkes Bay
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Manawatu
  • Southland
  • Rotorua
  • Central Otago
  • Taranaki
  • Dunedin
  • West Coast
  • Bay of Islands
  • Whangarei
  • Tauranga
  • Central Plateau
  • Hamilton
  • Napier
  • Palmerston North
  • Whanganui
  • New Plymouth
  • Kapati
  • Arrowtown
  • Te Anau
  • Akaroa
  • Ashburton
  • Hanmer
  • Kaikoura
  • Methven
  • Mt Cook
  • Oamaru
  • Tekapo
  • Timaru
  • Abel Tasman
  • Motueka
  • Nelson Lakes
  • Blenheim
  • Picton
  • Catlins
  • Gore
  • Invercargill
  • Stewart Island
  • Cromwell
  • Greymouth
  • hokitika
  • Westport

Our favourite destinations…

Auckland destination2

Auckland

New Zealand’s economic heart and biggest city is also an exciting family visitor destination, situated on a sunny harbour with city beaches just minutes away from the CBD. Orientate yourself by heading down to Viaduct Harbour, wandering the waterfront, checking out the super yachts or enjoying the waterfront restaurants. Nearby is the must-visit Sky Tower along with excellent and kid-friendly museums and tons of exciting activities!

Wellington

Wellington is New Zealand’s capital. Here you will find New Zealand's parliament buildings, including the 'Executive Wing', more well-known as 'The Beehive' due to its distinctive shape. Another icon to look out for is the Wellington Tram, which was the main means of public transport between 1878 and 1964.

Christchurch

With a population of around 400,000 Christchurch, in Canterbury, is the South Island ’s largest city, yet much of it has the feel of a small town. Perhaps that’s why it’s known as the Garden City but with the expansive Hagley Park, Botanic Gardens, Port Hills, River Avon and numerous beaches the city certainly has an open, relaxed feel that’s hard to beat.

Queenstown

With its well-deserved reputation as New Zealand’s activity adventure capital you’ll never run out of activities and things to do in Queenstown, but you may run out of time! With breathtaking scenery, activities and festivals, cafes and restaurants, skiing and snowboarding, shopping and wineries, this lakeside alpine resort rates as one of the world’s top vacation destinations for all ages and seasons.

Rotorua

Rotorua sits on the shore of Lake Rotorua, one of sixteen lakes in the area formed by hundreds of thousands of years of eruptions from the Taupo Volcanic Zone. The area is renowned for its geothermal activity and top of any activity list is to see the bubbling mud pools that are around the region for yourself. The Waimangu Volcanic Valley offers a first hand insight into the devastation caused by the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera and is a great place to discover steaming volcanic craters and bubbling, spitting  pools of mud!

Nelson and Golden Bay

The Nelson and Golden Bay regions, at the top of the South Island, boast enviable sunshine hours, glorious sandy beaches, safe swimming spots, lots of wildlife to look out for, and Abel Tasman National Park - an absolute must to explore, on foot, by kayak, your own craft or watertaxi.  Nelson is home to a vibrant arts and crafts community with a fabulous Saturday market, and is close to award-winning wineries and family-friendly bike tracks to take you around the coast.

Hawkes Bay

Napier was rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake and is now known as NZ's Art Deco City.  The Art Deco influence has created a unique city – nowhere else can you see such a varied concentration of art deco style. With over 2,200 sunshine hours a year, Napier is a year-round holiday destination with countless activities to entertain the kids – there's days of entertainment on Marine Parade alone, plus numerous other family-friendly trips and activities.  Add to that the beaches, walks and flat cycle paths, outdoor cafes and entertainment, and you have a perfect holiday destination!

Northland

Beautiful, unspoiled beaches, fishing, historic gum fields, kauri forests – the Far North has it all. With subtropical temperatures, it's often known as ‘the Winterless north', with warm, humid summers and mild winters.
Gateway to the Bay of Islands, Paihia is a pretty, lively beachside town and a perfect base for your family holiday. It’s your start point for Bay of Island adventures including day cruises, sailing, kayaking, swimming with dolphins and reef or wreck diving.