You'll find caves twinkling with glow worms, river walks, lush gardens and black-sand beaches among the scenic highlights of this region.

If you’re fascinated by what lies beneath the earth, head to the Waitomo Caves. Here, millions of twinkling glow worms lie within subterranean rock formations and underground rivers. About half an hour from Waitomo lies Maungatautiri Ecological Reserve, which allows visitors to get up close to native, endangered birds including the Kaka and Kiwi. In Hamilton, the Hamilton Gardens are a must-see – a collection of themes, these gardens explore the relationship between people and plants in 58 hectares of stunning colour and impressive horticultural talent. If you love the coast, don’t miss the ruggedly beautiful West Coast beaches of Raglan and Kawhia – great for surfing, or eating fish and chips on the beach. 

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