Waikato Activity Highlights
Whatever the season, the Waikato region offers a wide range of activities. Daring adventure, rest and relaxation, family fun and cultural experiences; you'll find it all in Waikato.
Waikato Activity Highlights Overview
Waikato's wildly diverse landscape make it an exotic playground with something for everyone. Visit Lake Karapiro, spread a picnic rug and watch the water sports. Wakeboarding, rowing and water-skiing make exciting viewing during summer.
Venture into Waitomo Caves to see stalactites, stalagmites and a magical display of glowworms. If one cave isn't enough, you can also explore the Aranui and Ruakuri caves.
River Life in Hamilton City
Cruise down the Waikato River on the M.V. Waipa Delta.
- Wander around Hamilton Gardens, stunning themed gardens on the banks of the Waikato river
- Visit Hamilton Zoo, a wildlife conservation park with a giant free flight aviary
- The Waikato Museum of Contemporary Art and History has a wide range of art and Māori heritage exhibits
The Heart of the Country
Charming townships dot the rich green countryside of the Waikato region.
- Call into Cambridge Thoroughbred Lodge, home of the New Zealand Horse Magic show, for an entertaining and educational presentation involving a variety of horse breeds
- Take a stud farm tour. Enquire at the local Visitor Information Centre
- Browse art, craft and antique shops
- See New Zealand's largest collection of dolls, toys and teddy bears at The Castle
- Visit the Kiwi House and aviary in Otorohanga, where the kiwi is bred in captivity
- Take a 4WD (four-wheel drive) beach safari and dig your own hot pools at Kawhia Harbour
The Underground Landscape of Waitomo
There is excitement above and below the ground in Waitomo—be as daring as you want to be.
- See the glowworm grottoes and the underground caverns of Waitomo
- Try Black Water Rafting—float on an inflated inner tube past incredible limestone formations and under glowworms
- Abseil into the Lost World Cave
- Haggis Honking Holes is a challenging four hour cave trip
- Woodlyn Park provides an insight into New Zealand's pioneer farming heritage—it also has drive yourself jet boats
- Catch a Wave at Raglan
- In the surfing world, Raglan is famous for its left-hand break.
- Enjoy the excellent surfing and swimming beaches
- Browse the heritage buildings, arts and crafts shops and cafes
Matamata - Home of Hobbiton
Matamata is famous for dairying and fine thoroughbred horses. It's easy to see why these green pastures and rolling hills were chosen to portray Hobbiton and The Shire in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
Although much of the set was deconstructed post filming, hobbit fans can still visit Hobbiton, wander among the hobbit holes and listen to the fascinating commentary about how it was all created.
Hot Springs, Mountain Biking and More
- Opal Hot Springs are natural mineral springs, for a therapeutic and relaxing swim
- Jump out of a plane! Tandem or solo jumps are available through Skydive Waikato
- Visit Firth Tower Historical Museum—an authentically furnished farm homestead and worker's cottage circa 1900
- Go gliding, experience the thrill of the launch and the magic of unpowered flight
- Burn off some energy on 10 kilometres of all weather mountain bike track in the foothills of Mount Te Aroha
- Soak in a hot pool at Te Aroha Hot Springs Domain
Useful Waikato Links
To help plan your Waikato holiday choose from the main categories below:
- Waikato Accommodation
- Waikato Tours
- Waikato Attractions and Activities
- Waikato Transport
- Waikato Dining
- Waikato Shopping
- Waikato Visitor Information
Waikato Region Information
Key information and facts about the Waikato region.
Major activities and attractions in the Waikato region.