Hamilton Travel Guide

  • Indian Char Bagh Garden
    Indian Char Bagh Garden
    by Tom_Fields
  • Dining on Bryce
    Dining on Bryce
    by kiwi
  • Things to Do
    by kiwi

Hamilton Things to Do

  • Bridge puts on nighttime lighting...

    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...

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  • Balloons over Waikato.

    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...

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  • Hamilton Gardens

    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...

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  • Drive down to Lake Rotoroa, known as...

    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...

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  • Hamilton Garden

    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...

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  • Tongariro Crossing

    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...

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  • Hamilton Zoo

    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...

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  • March Waka Regatta

    Turangawaewae Marae.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...

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  • Hamilton Gardens

    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.

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  • Hamilton Zoo

    I remember going to Hamilton Zoo with my cousins and grandmother as a child and really enjoying it so if you are in Hamilton and have a young family I recommend it.The zoo is set in 25 hectares of landscaped grounds. They have many native and exotic birds and animals (reptiles and mammals) and one of the main attractions for bird lovers is the...

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  • Waipa Delta

    The Waipa Delta is a paddle steamer that cruises the Waikato River. It's home is near the city centre. You can take a cruise for morning or afternoon tea and there are also buffet lunch cruises and cocktail and dinner cruises. There are three scheduled cruises that run from Thursday to Sunday and on public holidays with private charters also...

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  • Hamilton Gardens

    The Hamilton Gardens are a lovely place to go even if you aren't really a "flower person". They have some themed gardens (see my travelogue for pics) where you can have your wedding if you want (the Italian garden pictured is a popular one for weddings!). There is a lake with ducks and swans which is popular with kids. There is a cafe for...

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Hamilton Hotels

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Hamilton Restaurants

  • Gardens Cafe at Hamilton Gardens

    I'm only going to refer to the coffee. I ordered a Long Black, which traditionally is an espresso double shot with water added.I have to say what I got was the worst example of this I've had in a long time. There was absolutely no crema. The coffee looked and tasted dead and was little better than instant with water.I was bitterly disappointed. The...

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  • Great funky cafe

    Popular little character cafe, which I will be frequenting from now on. Love the old decor and funky atmosphere, very interesting to see such a wide agegroup range, and fun to sit and observe. They have four old art deco tables pushed together to form one centrepiece large square table, where more than one group can sit and feel separate to the...

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  • Beat Fish shop takeaways in town

    This is undoubtedly the best fresh fish shop in town. There are plenty of choices of type of fish and how you take them. Frozen, live tanks to select, or filetted and ready to cook.You can select your fish and have it cooked on premises, in batter, as "fish 'n chips" takeaways. This is the best method of takeaways, as the fish is SO fresh and...

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  • Street Dining Precinct

    Don't be fooled by the name, as Theobromas serve other food as well as fine Belgian style chocolates. This is one of a line of new eating establishments in the pavement dining precinct on Bryce Street in the central city. Named "Dining on Bryce", this street is now very attractive and oozing with ambience and character.We all know the weather in...

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  • Refreshing New restaurant

    This is one of the newest diners in town at the time of writing. I was pleasantly pleased with my vistit. Nice sunny area both inside and out, also with various corners for dining. It's good to have a place at this end of town, where you can just drop in for a drink and meal or snacks.Rather oddly located where I expected to find a carpark, and...

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  • Enjoyed the Traditional Irish Sunday...

    The interior was a warm welcoming atmosphere, and we also enjoyed eating our lunch at the sidewalk tables. One interesting thing occurred while we were eating. One of the other tables on the sidewalk had been recently vacated. Along with the Roast Pork dinner were two strips of roasted pumpkin. The occupants of the table had not cleaned their plate...

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  • BBC in Hamilton means good food

    During the nine days we spent in Hamilton, we ate three of our meals at the BBC. We had met one of the chefs one afternoon on the sidewalk outside the restaurant ( not realizing that she was a chef at the time ). We had just finished lunch at another restaurant but had paused to check out the menu posted on the wall. Since the lunch rush was over...

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  • South end of town

    Popular eating house in mainstreet, nice interior seating and summertime outside tables on pavement. Pleasant casual but nice atmosphere with tv for sports minded if you want. Tables and booths available. You can park in behind in the museum parking area, no charge later in the evening. Open till 3am FRi and Sat nites, open till "late" other...

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  • A Bit of the Middle East

    Delightful atmosphere...you can sit at tables or in your own "tent" on pillows on the ground around a table. Nice lighting inside too, very Turkish feel. I tried the dolmates (rice wrapped in grape leaves), calamari, pita bread a tzatiki. All were delicious. The Turkish dry white wine was very nice as well!

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Hamilton Nightlife

  • Good times down under...

    This is a fun bar that attracts a younger, university-aged crowd. They play good music - although it gets very repetitive if you stay there too long. Lots of dancing going on - and lots of people to meet! It is packed Wednesday thru Saturday nights (Sat. night the line is ridiculously long!!). Make sure you bring proper identification, they are...

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  • Nice place to start your night

    This is pretty much the bar of the University of Waikato. It is pretty much all uni students that go there. Plays good music and usually has good drink specials. Wednesday from 7PM-12AM it is $3 night where all house spirits, wines, beers, and rtds are all only $3!!! The bar closes at 12AM and then has a FREE bus into town so you don't have to...

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  • Live bands in Hamilton!

    Every Wednesday thru Saturday there are live bands at the Cazbar. Great atmosphere and tons of fun! Nice dress.

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Hamilton Transportation

  • Hamilton International Airport

    Hamilton Airport claims International status with it's connecting flights to and from Austalia and some Pacific Islands. This is very handy for travellers south of Auckland, as it's less distance and very accessible. Hamilton Airport is the fourth busiest in the country and an important domestic airport with light aircraft and scheduled flights...

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  • Hamilton Airport

    Hamilton has an airport located 14 kms south of the city centre. Budget International Airline, Freedom Air, has its base here. In addition domestic airlines: Air New Zealand and Origin Pacific fly from here to other NZ cities.There are bars, cafes, shops and foreign exchange counters at the airport. There is long-term or short-term parking...

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  • Inter-City Coachlines

    The InterCity Coachlines service runs all around New Zealand. Hamilton, with its close proximity to Auckland has a number of services run through the town. They have special deals for Backpackers and flexi-saver fares available on most routes for early bookings.For details on the timetable please refer to the Intercity website for up-to-date...

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Hamilton Shopping

  • The Best Map Shop in town.

    Here you can buy maps and great information on NZ's walks. These can be hard to find, but this shop has it all!! Topographical maps, marine charts, overseas maps, travel guides. Globes.Information about walks in New Zealand with maps, and some books about native animals/birds and fauna.

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  • Donovan's Chocolate Factory

    Donovan's Chocolates is a family owned and operated chocolate factory located in North Hamilton. They manufacture their own chocolates which you can purchase in their boutique shop. There is also a little cafe there.

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  • Surprisingly delightful café.

    Not really anywhere near the "beaten track", this Café is worth the effort if you spend some days in Hamilton and have access to a car.Really nice food and drinks. Primarily a kitchen that prepares platters for parties and taking away. However you can dine here and they serve very trendy and nice food.A small array of delicatessen items for...

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Hamilton Off The Beaten Path

  • Tirau - Souvenir Shopping

    On State Highway One on the road near Hamilton is the town of Tirau. This town is often a stopping point for people driving between Auckland and Taupo or Rotorua. The town has a lot of souvenir shops, antique shops and cafes.Look out for the corrugated iron "sheep" and "dog" on the main street. That is where the main tourist information centre is...

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  • Lake Karapiro

    Lake Karapiro is located just off State Highway One between Cambridge and Hamilton. It is a man made lake formed when the Karapiro Dam was built on the Waikato River.The Lake is best known for its world-class rowing course and is the venue for many water sport events such as yachting, powerboating and water skiing. It is also the location of the...

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  • Cambridge

    Cambridge is a quaint town located 24 kms south east of Hamilton. It is on State Highway one so most people have to pass through the town when driving south. Although the road detours the main shopping streets I recommend taking a drive through and stopping off at one of the lovely cafes located in town. The information centre is located at the...

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Hamilton Favorites

  • Waikato - Dairy Region

    Hamilton is the capital of the Waikato Region. The Waikato is New Zealand's biggest dairy area. Cows galore! The main dairy processing company is called Fonterra which is actually the world's 7th largest dairy company. The Fonterra milk trucks can be seen all over Waikato roads.

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  • Greek Arcade 2

    And when I walked further into the Arcade, lined with shops and boutiques on both sides, and the centrepiece the Greek Taverna at the end, it was even more delightful. I felt a little like I'd stepped into a different European world.

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  • Greek Arcade

    During our short stop in Hamilton, I was walking along a street (Barton St, just off the main street) when I happened upon this adorable arcade, Casabella.I just fell in love with the quaintness of it.

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