Hamilton Cricket Holidays
Until the 1840s Hamilton was just a collection of Maori villages near a swamp, now it is one of New Zealand’s fastest growing cities. Lying on the Waikato river the city is at the heart of one the country’s most fertile agricultural areas. This has fed a new emphasis on local produce and creative cuisine with a plethora of bars and eateries. From February to March it hosts many festivals including the Waikato Food and Wine and Balloons over Waikato events.
With close to 230,000 inhabitants, Hamilton is a bijou city with a busy, bustling heart. It boasts all of the benefits of Kiwi life – a vibrant and sophisticated café culture and restaurant scene teamed with superb local beers and wines. Surrounded by rolling hills and bountiful farmland you’ll also find natural and cinematic wonders in the shape of steaming geysers and Hobbit film sets. Adventure also abounds with opportunities to make the most of the mighty Waikato river which runs through the city.
Less than 50 clicks (km) from Hamilton you can step straight in to the Shire. The Hobbiton movie set near Matamata and its collection of chocolate box houses are among New Zealand’s top tourist attractions. During a two-hour tour you can journey into the world of Hobbit Holes or enjoy a flagon of beer in the replica Green Dragon Inn. Even non-Tolkein fans will fall under the spell of a piece of cinematic wizardry.
Uncork some North Island wineries
Hamilton sits neatly in between a trio of fine wine growing areas. In Waikato and the Bay of Plenty the warm climate and ideal soil conditions delivering some fresh to the palate Chardonnay. Across in Hawkes Bay, the terrain and long hours of sunshine are perfect for rich reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir. The world’s most easterly grape region Gisborne is another white wine favourite where the vines are the first to be kissed by the sun every day.
Classic Cars and Culture
Hamilton exhibits a healthy love for museums. You’ll find everything from art and history to nature in the interactive displays at Waikato Museum. But for petrol heads and those who appreciate vintage head for Hamilton’s Classic Car Museum. There are over 100 historic cars parked up for your pleasure alongside an extensive collection of auto memorabilia. The collection encompassing everything from pedal cars to petrol pumps. Once you’ve met the motors take a seat in the 1950’s Jukebox Diner.
New Zealand’s most famous hot springs bubble and spout in Rotorua, in the heart of the Taupo volcanic zone. This geothermal wonderland encompasses steaming geysers and hot azure lakes fringed by vivid orange mineral crusts. The park attracts three million visitors so it’s definitely worth hot footing there. Wai-O-Tapu is highly recommended in the shape of the elegant Lady Knox Geyser, colourful the Champagne Pool and Artist’s Palette and relaxing Waikite Valley Thermal Pools.
Take a jet to Karapiro
Lake Karapiro and the massive dam which holds it in check are among the most picturesque Hamilton attractions. The Lake is home to an abundance of native bush and bird life and many waterborne activities. But as well as being a world-class rowing centre hosting World Championships there’s also adventure. Take the Dambuster Jet Boat Tour from Cambridge up the Waikato river and you can brave the rapids at breakneck speed.
Notes on visiting Hamilton
Dunedin Local Time
+12 Hours GMT
Passports must be valid for 6 months beyond your stay.
No Visa required but you must have an onward (i.e. return) ticket.
Highest Average: 18°
Lowest Average: 11°
Last updated July 19th, 2017