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Favourite Cities and Hotels in New Zealand

Though in the long shadow of Auckland, the North Island, New Zealand city of Hamilton is nonetheless worth a visit. While a coastline dearth may have the city at a slight disadvantage from other North Island tourist destinations, as a gateway to the scenic Waikato region, Hamilton is superb.

With just under 200,000 people, Hamilton is indeed the urban heart of a traditional, culturally vibrant area of New Zealand. Explicit proof is on hand at points of interest like the Hamilton Farmers' Market and Waikato Museum. The city plays host to a number of important events throughout the year, like the Hamilton Gardens Summer Festival, Hamilton Underground Film Festival, National Agricultural Fieldays and Couch Soup Festival. For a typical slice of Hamilton life, head to Waikato Stadium to catch Waikato Rugby Union action or indeed, Seddon Park for cricket. No visit to the city is complete however, without a tour of Hamilton Gardens, the most popular attraction in the region.

Attractions

  • Hamilton Gardens
  • Waikato Museum
  • Waikato Stadium
  • Hamilton Astronomical Society Observatory
  • Ngāruawāhia
  • Activities

  • Hamilton Gardens Summer Festival
  • Hamilton Underground Film Festival
  • National Agricultural Fieldays
  • World Rally Championship
  • Couch Soup Festival
  • Restaurants

  • Iguana St Bar & Restaurant
  • Palate
  • Canvas Restaurant & Bar
  • Woodbox
  • Sian Sushi
  • Nightlife

  • Cuebar
  • Diggers Bar
  • Lock Stock & Barrell
  • The Cardiff's Arms Sports Bar
  • The Alamo Bar
  • Hamilton has a temperate climate, with four distinct seasons and above average rainfall for the year.

    • Summer (November to February) 10-24°C
    • Fall (March to May) 7-23°C
    • Winter (June to August) 4-15°C
    • Spring (September to October) 7-18°C

    Hamilton Hotels

    HotelClub

    Heart-filled Hamilton

    It may not be as popular as other landlocked NZ cities, but the North Island town of Hamilton can hold its own when it comes to fascinating local culture and the lush greenery typical of Kiwiland. And if you’re looking for nightlife, the thriving set of bars and restaurants along the main stretch almost leaves Auckland in the dust! ... Read more »

    For 500-plus species of critters – not to mention NZ’s only tapir – check out the fantastic Hamilton Zoo. For a bit of culture and all sorts of contemporary Kiwi artwork, meander through the gallery at ArtsPost, or take a cruise and enjoy some ace Hamilton cuisine down the Waikato River. Whether it’s the stunning natural setting, friendly locals or laid-back vibe, Hamilton will make its way into your heart and stay there.

    Hamilton’s Top 10

    10. Hot-Air Balloon Ride Wake up to Hamilton from the sky and gaze across to the sunrise peeking out from behind the snow-capped distant mountains.

    5. Bank No, not an actual one! This 19th century bank has been revamped into a killer bar with a fantastic selection of local wine and beers on tap.

    9. Wairere Falls Just out of the city in the Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park, they are the highest in North Island at over 153m (502ft).

    4. MV Waipa Delta While away the afternoon in this replica of an 1876 paddle steamer.

    8. Kayak Tour There are plenty of tour options around the city for getting on a canoe and exploring the rivers.

    3. Waikato Museum Crammed with all sorts of interesting art, science and history in five massive areas.

    7. Victoria Cinema If you’re feeling particularly highbrow, sit back with a cocktail while watching the swankiest of art-house films.

    2. Riff Raff Check out the life-size statue of the time-warping alien from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, in honour of former Hamilton resident (and Rocky Horror creator) Richard O’Brien.

    6. Waterworld Drop the kids at the waterslide and float the afternoon away in the spa.

    1. Hamilton Gardens From the extravagant themed flowerbeds to the fragrant herb patch, it’s a glorious place to stop and, um, smell the roses.

    Hamilton Events

    For the biggest Christian music festival in the Southern Hemisphere, check out the Parachute Festival in January.

    Celebrate the multicultural mishmash in Hamilton at the annual Indigo Festival in March.

    Rev heads should head over in April for the ITM400 Hamilton Supercar Race.

    Rug up for the annual Waikato Winter Show in May (technically May is still spring, but we won’t burst their bubbles…)

    Get your stopwatches ready for the spectacular rowing regatta that is the Gallagher Great Race in September.

    When To Go

    Hamilton enjoys warm, humid summers, and actually has the most summertime thunderstorms in New Zealand.

    Winter is usually pretty frosty, but during the day is quite mild and great for exploring the museums.

    The absolute best time to head into Hamilton is during spring and autumn when the air is dry and the sunshine is ace!

    Getting Around

    Hamilton has an expansive bus service that is relatively cheap – take advantage!

    Pick up a four-ride day pass for $4.60 if you’re planning on doing some heavy-duty exploring.

    The CBD of Hamilton is quite small and easily walkable if you’re keen for a stroll.


    HotelClub Blog

    New Zealand Rugby World Cup 2011 Primer

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    Kingsgate Hotel Hamilton
    Reviewer score
    4.3
    out of 52 Reviews
    100 Garnett Avenue, Te Rapa Hamilton 3200

    Kingsgate Hotel Hamilton is the perfect choice when visiting this scenic garden city teeming with historic landmarks s... More hotel details

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    Quest On Ward Serviced Apartments Hamilton
    Reviewer score
    3.7
    out of 52 Reviews
    42-47 Ward Street Hamilton North Island NZ-3204

    Whether in this part of New Zealand for business or leisure, travellers find suitable base in the comfortable accommod... More hotel details

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    Hamilton City Oaks
    Reviewer score
    4.3
    out of 55 Reviews
    237 Victoria Street Hamilton 3204

    A remodelled 1925 heritage-listed architecture, Hamilton City Oaks blends old world elegance and modern facilities sui... More hotel details

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    Sudima Hotel Hamilton
    Reviewer score
    2.7
    out of 52 Reviews
    287 Victoria Street Hamilton 3204

    Sudima Hotel Hamilton offers the perfect blend of charm and elegance and is an ideal spot for an enjoyable vacation. T... More hotel details

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    Novotel Tainui Hamilton
    Reviewer score
    4.8
    out of 52 Reviews
    7 Alma Street Hamilton 3204

    Set in the heart of the city, Novotel Tainui Hamilton makes for an accessible base for business and leisure travellers... More hotel details

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    Grosvenor Motor Inn Hamilton
    Reviewer score
    4.2
    out of 52 Reviews
    165 Ulster Street Hamilton 3240

    Whether it is a weekend retreat or longer stay, travellers can stay at Grosvenor Motor Inn Hamilton's comfortable acco... More hotel details

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    Hotel Ibis Hamilton Tainui
    Reviewer score
    3.9
    out of 53 Reviews
    18 Alma Street Hamilton 3204

    Set on the banks of Waikato River, Hotel Ibis Hamilton Tainui offers chic comfortable accommodations and scenic city o... More hotel details

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    Aaron Court Motor Inn Hamilton
    Reviewer score
    0
    out of 50 Reviews
    250 Ulster Street Waikato Hamilton

    Aaron Court Motor Inn Hamilton welcomes travellers to comfortable and affordable accommodations conveniently set close... More hotel details

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    Ventura Inn & Suites Hamilton
    Reviewer score
    4.2
    out of 59 Reviews
    23 Clarence Street Hamilton 3204

    Offering unique service and warm hospitality, the Ventura Inn & Suites Hamilton is the right choice for a memorable ho... More hotel details

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    Hamilton Airport Hotel & Conference Centre
    Reviewer score
    4.3
    out of 53 Reviews
    201 Airport Road Hamilton 3283

    Offering cosy spaces, spacious meeting spaces and convenient location near the airport, Hamilton Airport Hotel & Confe... More hotel details

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