Just south of Auckland lies the Waikato region; a land of lush pastures that was chosen to play The Shire in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films.
Well-known for its underground wonders, black sand surf beaches and rolling green hills, the Waikato region offers a wealth of nature-based activities and attractions surrounding a vibrant city hub.
What is there to do in Waikato?
The city of Hamilton boasts stunning gardens, plentiful shopping and a popular nightlife and restaurant scene including award-winning eateries and exciting entertainment. With abundant accommodation, Hamilton is the perfect base for exploring the wider region.
Visit Hobbiton Movie set
If you’re a Tolkien fan, drive east to Matamata and visit Hobbiton Movie Set, the amazing Hobbit-sized village created for the movies.
Go surfing in Raglan
If surfing is more your style, then Raglan is the perfect spot for you, with one of the longest left-hand breaks in the world.
Experience the underground magic at Waitomo Caves
For a magical underground experience, drive south to Waitomo Caves, where the natural beauty of stalactites and stalagmites lit by the blue light of glowworms will take your breath away; or for those seeking more of an adrenalin rush, black water rafting and abseiling are not to be missed.
Hike or cycle at Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
Known for its scenic diversity, the Waikato region offers a myriad of options for those keen on walking, hiking and cycling, from casual strolls along the Waikato River to overnight bush excursions and winding mountain biking tracks. A popular spot is Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, which allows walkers to experience the New Zealand forest as it was hundreds of years ago, thanks to the special predator-free environment.