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Victoria Bridge at the south end of town, is lit at night with a nice lighting display. If you drive down oneway Grantham Street, you get a nice view. You may have to drive around the block a time or two as it's a oneway street, to find a park.
This is a free nighttime entertainment and maybe even children may enjoy. And during rainy nights you can even see it from your car :-)
If you go to my videos for Hamilton, I've loaded a video of some of this lighting display.
Updated Sep 5, 2012
Address: Grantham Street, Hamilton
Victoria Cinema is now on limited showings check website for dates/times.
Now this was a truly special experience. A small boutique cinema, quite something out of the past. A warm friendly foyet with a coffee shop/bar where you can order very nice espresso or perhaps a glass of wine! A selection of coffee tables and couches scattered around for you to sit in comfort while you wait. Clearly the patrons had been before and even knew each other, Film Society members probably. Nobody here is in a hurry and who cares if the previous screening is going over time, we’ll just have one more wine…
Modern glitzy cinemas demand payment when you telephone for a booking, but not here. My husband was met with “Certainly sir, how many seats would you like?” , and they only required a telephone number.
We enter this time warp and find a fresh, clean, extremely tasteful, little theatre. Seats looking like those in a 747, seems they are custom made, high backed, blue with their seat number embroidered in gold, oh so tasteful! And even a small tray to fold up for your refreshments. There is the classic but tasteful Red Carpet and perfect lighting around the walls. Even during the movie, the girls were bringing espressos and wine to the patrons, such service, and so absolutely nice!! Occassionally during the movie we heard a coffee cup jingle and nearly go flying, people giggled.
Oh really, Intermission?! When did you last get Intermission, wow. And down to the little shop for more refreshments including small punnets of the best Kapiti specialty icecreams. No crassy advertisements playing during the break, but lovely jazz music to soothe ones soul. You could even talk with your friends over it.
I had the feeling the owners and staff here loved their little theatre, and ran it with passion.
Adults (weekends & after 6pm) $14
Adults (weekdays & before 6pm) $12
Seniors (over 60) and students $10
Children (under 15) $6-50
Updated Sep 5, 2012
Address: 690 Victoria Street, Hamilton, NZ.
Phone: 07 - 838 3036
Every year in April they hold the Balloons Over Waikato Fiesta. A great spectacle and lots of colour and activities to watch. Super family entertainment, even if it is very early in the morning. Some of the events are later in the day.
The first morning's MASS ASCENSION is often very exciting, depending on the weather. This region can produce a variety of weather, some of it preventing the balloons from launching.
On the Friday morning some balloons launch from Innes Common, however many go to schools in the region and launch from them.
Saturday - NIGHTGLOW extravaganza - 4.00pm - 8.00pm . This is a fun spectacle and great as a family event. Live Music, Fireworks, see the balloons up close and lighting up to the rhythm of music, it's fantastic.
See my travelogues for more photos:
Balloons Over Waikato and Frog Balloon Gets in the Lake.
Dates for 2013, 3 - 7 April. Including the event: Morning Glow Ascention.
Updated Jun 1, 2012
Address: Innes Common, Hamilton City.
The gardens have several distinct sections, including the Paradise Collection, the Productive Collection, the Fantasy Collection, the Cultivar Collection, and the Landscape Collection. I visited the first one.
Herein are the Chinese Scholars Garden, English Flower Garden, Japanese Garden of Comtemplation, Italian Renaissance Garden, American Modernist Garden, and Indian Char Bagh Garden.
Written Mar 29, 2012
Address: Waikato Mail Centre Hamilton 3240
Phone: (+64) 07 838 6782
Drive down to the lake, there are plenty of places to stop the car and take a break. A flask of coffee and something to eat will let you relax a little better while you take in the ambience of the scene before you. Nice gardens, including a Rose Garden. There is a cafe near the carpark, and plenty of ducks for the kids to feed. Also a playground for the children to let off some energy :-)
Updated Jul 14, 2008
You can see about 10 different styles of garden around the world. Excellent pick for a picnic trip. They have seats in different gardens, of course the seat matches the theme, and it is a good experience to travel around the world in a short-time.
Admission to all areas of Hamilton Gardens is free.
For photo, please go here.
Click here for more info on Hamilton Garden
Updated Dec 3, 2007
Address: Hamilton Garden
This is definetely one of the "must do"s when visiting the North Island. However, as it is not exactly off the beaten path, you'll risk up walking in line for most of the trip. To avoid this, try starting from the other end of the hike than the usual (I can't remember the name, but ask around at the tourist office in Tapuo, then do the exaxt opposite route of what they recommend...) For this you will need to have your own car, as all the tourist buses basically drop you off at the other end and then drive to the finish/starting point to pick you up.
What I did was to start off a little late, an then spend about 2 hrs up to the first hut called Ketetahi hut. It lies in beautiful surroundings, close to a sacred hotspring (not allowed to visit..!), and is a perfect place for small trips or just relax in the sunshine. The next day, after leaving my big pack at the hut wit the warden, I went up to the main plateu while passing extinct volcanoes and deep blue lakes. When I came to about half-way (you'll see a steep gravel road, which is a pain to climb) the people from the tourist buses started showing up. Instead of continuing where they came from, I took a left and was suddenly on the moon! Walking in an enourmous crater there was no other people around, and it felt surreal. From here, I navigated my way back to the hut which was fairly easy as the landscape was all flat. On the way, you had a view of almost the entire North Island. When I came back, there was still enough time to get down to the car before dark. Anyway, it woul probably be better to stay one more nights, as there was heaps more to explore.
I visited in late fall, which is probably the best time to go because of less tourists and not too hot to climb. Oh, and you have to pay to stay in the huts, which is cheaper if you pay in advance at the tourist office in Tapuo.
Written Jan 9, 2007
Hamilton Zoo is compact and interesting, and you can get quite close to the animals. It's beneficial to buy a Zoo Guide so you can better manage your visit. This zoo is in many global programmes to help with the survival of endangered species. It's not a huge zoo on the global scale, but is very close to the city, has interesting animals and is great for local people as well as visitors if they are particularly interested. For children in the region it is especially interesting, as a close by opportunity to see these creatures in reality.
You can see more photos and information on my VT page here.
Updated Sep 18, 2006
Address: Brymer Road, Hamilton, Waikato.
Phone: 07 - 838 6720
Every year on or near St Patrick's Day, at the home of the Tainui Tribe, there is a spectacle and dispay of the Maori Waka. These are large traditional canoes, carved from trees. This regatta has a history of over 100 years, and includes school student races as well as the large Waka parade.
If you can visit this, you will see real cultural aspects of Maori life, as this day is for themselves and is not a spectacle designed for tourists. I suppose really this event is a unique and special treasure, and one that is open to the public. So if you are in the area at the time, try to attend the Waka Regatta.
Entry is Adults $10 each.
Updated Mar 18, 2006
Address: River Road, Ngaruawahia.
These beautiful gardens are a nice place to go to relax or escape the city. There are heaps of themed gardens - from English to Japanese to Italian Rennaissance to herb. There is a lake in the center near a small concession/information centre. It runs along the beautiful Waikato River.
Written Jul 29, 2005
Address: Hamilton East
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