Hamilton - Waikato
Just south of Auckland lies the Hamilton-Waikato region; a land of lush pastures and fertile soils that was chosen to play The Shire in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films.
Well-known for its underground wonders, black sand surf beaches and rolling green hills, the Hamilton - Waikato region of New Zealand offers a wealth of nature-based activities and attractions surrounding a vibrant city hub.
If you’re a Tolkien fan, drive east to Matamata and visit Hobbiton Movie Set, the amazing Hobbit-sized village created for the movies. Or if surfing is more your style, then Raglan is the perfect spot for you, with one of the longest left hand breaks in the world.
For a magical underground experience, drive south to Waitomo Caves, where the natural beauty of stalactites and stalagmites lit by the blue light of glowworms will take your breath away; or for those seeking more of an adrenalin rush, black water rafting and abseiling are not to be missed.
Known for its scenic diversity, the Hamilton & Waikato region offers a myriad of options for those keen on walking, hiking and cycling, from casual strolls along the Waikato River to overnight bush excursions and winding mountain biking tracks. A popular spot is Maungatautari Ecological Reserve, which allows walkers to experience the New Zealand forest as it was hundreds of years ago, thanks to the special predator-free environment.
- Waikato is situated in the heart of the North Island. The main city, Hamilton, is located 90 minutes from Auckland and Rotorua.
- Hamilton airport is located 15 kilometres south of the city. The airport services both international (Freedom Air) and domestic flights.
- The region enjoys a temperate climate - warm, humid summers and mild winters with prevailing west and southwest winds.
- State highways 1 and 3 run through Waikato. The region is also part of the Great New Zealand Touring Route and Thermal Explorer Highway.