With the river city of Hamilton at its heart, the Hamilton area embraces lush rolling dairylands dotted by quaint country towns. On the banks of the Waikato River, Hamilton is graced with a beautiful location and there are lovely riverside parks, gardens and walks to explore. Watersports enthusiasts should head to Lake Rotoroa for yachting, boating and swimming. Hamilton has a lively cafe scene, and there is an excellent regional museum overlooking the river.

Hamilton is well placed to explore the Hamilton area’s many attractions, including the glowworm-lit caverns of the Waitomo Caves, the craft and antique shops of Cambridge village, the rose gardens at Te Awamutu, and the rich Maori heritage of Ngaruawahia and Taupiri, a sacred Maori burial ground. Drive out to the charming seaside village of Raglan, world famous for its left-hand surf breaks, discover the region’s coalmining history at Huntly or head to Ohaupo and enjoy a horse ride on the slopes of bush-clad Mount Pirongia.