Hamilton Things to Do
Located south of Auckland City, Hamilton is the gateway to beautiful scenery, the Waitomo Caves and the Pirongia Forest Park.
The Waitomo Caves are located south of Hamilton, and are a world famous tourist attraction. Here you will find an amazing natural labyrinth of subterranean caves and caverns, adornded with stalactites and stalagmites.
Glide through the darkness on a water-borne barge and admire the beauty and deep silence of the caves. Glowworms overhead give the effect of an eerie underground sky.
Abseiling, caving and canyoning are also popular activities here.
The quirky West Coast beach town of Raglan is known throughout the international surfing community for its amazing left-hand break. Surfers come from around the globe to compete in the international surfing competition held here every summer.
Lifeguards patrol the western end of Raglan's main beach during the summer months.
Pirongia Forest Park
The Pirongia Forest Park is a small and densely forested area that includes three extinct volcanoes: Mount Pirongia (959 metres), The Cone (945 metres) and Mount Karioi (756 metres). The tracks in this forest park are ideal for short walks and one to two day hikes.
On a clear day, Mt Pirongia's summit provides fine views of Mt Taranaki and Mt Ruapehu.
Located on State Highway 1, the beautiful Hamilton Gardens cover an area of 58 hectares. The gardens include five main collections:
- Paradise Collection
- Productive Collection
- Fantasy Collection
- Cultivar Collection
- Landscape Collection
Development of the gardens began in the early 1950s, however, most development at Hamilton Gardens has been undertaken since the early 1980s.
The Waikato River is the longest river in New Zealand. Beginning in the Tongariro National Park and ending in the Tasman Sea at Port Waikato, the Waikato River offers a wide range of scenic attractions and activities.
Waikato River activities include:
- Canoeing, kayaking
- Jet boating, jet skiing
- White water rafting
- Riverside walks
Visit the Hobbiton Movie Set
A short 45 - 60 minute drive from Hamilton is the remarkable Hobbiton Movie Set.
The Hobbiton Movie Set is the only remaining movie set of the epic trilogies written by JR Tolkein and directed by legendary Peter Jackson - "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" trilogies.
Touring this beautiful place of colourful houses and lush gardens completely surrounded by emerald hills is an experience that brings people from around New Zealand - and around the world. Explore The Green Dragon Inn, the old Mill and Bag End - the home of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.