You'll find caves twinkling with glow worms, river walks, lush gardens and black-sand beaches among the scenic highlights of the Waikato 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. Take a guided walking tour through the caves or opt for something a little more adventurous with a black water rafting tour.

About half an hour from Waitomo lies Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, 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. 

The rolling green hills of the Waikato region are also home to the popular Hobbiton Movie Set(opens in new window) – and must visit on any New Zealand itinerary not to mention ample hiking opportunities, with stunning waterfalls and mountain top views all on offer. Highlights include Bridal Veil Falls, Marokopa Falls, Hakarimata Summit Walk and much more.

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