Hamilton & Waitomo

On the surface, the region of Waikato is a lush, green pastoral land. The rolling hills and woodlands inspired Peter Jackson to build his version of The Shire among the verdant hills for the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Below the surface, vast wonders have been carved into the native limestone by millions of years of water. Home to vast underground caverns, huge sink holes and underground rivers, the green and pleasant land attracts adventure seekers of all ages.  


Situated right in the heart of the North Island, Hamilton, the main city of the Waikato region, is a fast-growing hub full of cool cafes and hot nightlife.

The city straddles the Waikato River, the longest in New Zealand, and is home to kayaks and boat tours on a sunny day. Each March, the riverside town of Ngaruawahia hosts a spectacular regatta which includes a public parade of traditional war canoes.

This is rugby heartland similar to the Canterbury Plains and playing field of the Waikato Chiefs and Mooloos, which have both been extremely succesful over the years.

Tourism New Zealand


The small, sleepy village of Waitomo is where the real adventure lies, and is home to a series of underground caverns full of glow worms and spectacular limestone sculptures. The caves offer all sorts of adventure experiences, including black-river rafting, underground abseiling and many other spelunking delights. The region is also packed with volcanic hot pools, a hot-water beach and hot-water slides.

Absolute Adventure


The village of Hobbiton (as featured in The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies) was created in farmland near Matamata, Waikato. The set was a permanent creation and is now a tourist attraction visited and explored by visitors to the region. Experience the real Middle-earth with a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set, featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films.

Drive through a picturesque 1,250 acre sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges. Take a look at Bag End, where Frodo and Bilbo’s adventures began. Get lost among the hobbit holes and visit the Green Dragon Inn, the mill and the Party Tree. Listen to spell-binding tales of how Hobbiton came to be.


Sara Orme

The Infinity Experience

Interesting Fact
There are over 1000 PhD qualified scientists living and working in Hamilton.

Content & assistance provided by Tourism New Zealand.