In a country full of adventure and action, this river city plates up a slower, yet sweet, slice of life.

Hamilton is like a big spongecake with colourful layers. The Waikato Museum with its heritage post office turned art gallery form the base of its culture. Its more exotic flavours come from the international sections of the Hamilton Gardens and Hamilton Zoo. The generous events calendar adds a treat to every bite, with sprinklings of hot air balloons, rugby, cricket and concerts. For the icing on the cake, sink your teeth into Hamilton’s many restaurants, tea plantation and microbreweries.

Frequently Asked Questions about Hamilton

What is Hamilton famous for?

The free Hamilton Gardens is a centrepiece attraction. Its landscaped gardens are inspired by Asian, Italian Renaissance, Tudor and other styles. Waitomo Caves is also often on a tourist's agenda. You can choose from several different tours, including one with a boat ride, to see the caves lit by thousands of glowworms.

Is Hamilton a sport-loving city?

Simply put, yes. You can see national and international cricket matches at Seddon Park, watch the Chiefs in rugby union action at Waikato Stadium or enjoy a day of polo at Claudelands Park.

What is the Northern Explorer?

The Northern Explorer is a scenic train journey that travels from Wellington to Auckland and passes through Hamilton. It's New Zealand's longest-operating passenger train and gives sublime views of no less than three volcanoes in the Central Plateau region.