Waikato is a region in the upper part of New Zealand’s North Island. It is home to some of the nations most exciting tourist attractions, and there’s enough here to keep you occupied for years. But, if you are limited on time, here are some of the can’t-miss places you should visit in Waikato. Rent a campervan and explore what you can do in Waikato.
Hobbiton Movie Set
For Tolkien fans around the world, the Hobbiton movie set is an attraction guaranteed to catch your eye. Come to Matamata to see a recreation of middle earth and the original Hobbit holes that were used in the films.
The caves in Waitomo are ones that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Not only are there fun activities like caving, rafting and canoeing, but you can enjoy an underground cruise across its illuminated, limestone caverns as well. These limestone-lined caverns glow in the dark and create a mesmerising experience for people of all ages.
The Hamilton Gardens are more than just an assortment of plants and flowers for you to look at. It’s a collection of various botanical cultivation techniques from all over the world. There is also a display of traditional Maori garden designs and ceremonial practices to delight your senses.
Located in Te Aroha, the Mokena Geyser is the only natural soda water geyser in the world. Named after the Maori chief, Mokena Hau, the Mokena geyser is accessible by a path in Te Aroha Domain. There is also another path that is wheelchair accessible.
Arapuni Swing Bridge
Built in the 1920s, the Arapuni Swing Bridge connects to the Arapuni Dam over a massive gorge. You can visit this bridge on foot, or see it when you go over it during the multi-day Waikato River Trails cycling route.
Finally, there is the Hamilton Zoo. Here wildlife enthusiasts can see over 600 rare and exotic animals up close. For an even greater educational experience, the zoo hold talks from the zookeeper everyday. Learn more about these animals and conservation efforts in New Zealand and around the world. You may even be privy to an animal feeding session if you’re lucky.
New Zealand is rife with fun activities and beautiful scenery, and if one region of the country best represents what New Zealand has to offer, it would be Waikato. Read our list of what to do in Waikato and make sure you make Waikato at the top of your list of places to explore.