Family Friendly Activities in the Waikato
“I think we’re quite ready for an adventure”
Step into the magical world of Hobbiton movie set and make your way through the hills of the Shire with a guided tour. Stop and visit the charming Hobbit holes, The Mill, The Party Tree and enjoy a South-farthing drink at The Green Dragon Inn. The stroller-friendly pathway around the set are ideal for young families.
Zoom to the Zoo!
Home to over 600 native and exotic animals, set amongst lush green surroundings, Hamilton Zoo is a memorable day out for the whole family. Take a stroll through New Zealand’s largest walk through aviary, home to many native birds and plants. Get up and close with a Face2Face animal encounter or catch a ‘Meet the Keeper’ talk highlighting the characters and personalities of the animals, their feeding and enrichment.
“Who’s that tip-tapping through my cave?” said the troll!
A cave troll has been found lurking in depths of the Waitomo Caves. Venture underground with your most trusted adventurers to go on ‘Troll Patrol’. Use your stealth and survival instinct to find your way through Tom the Troll’s lair. Solve his riddles and avoid his pranks to complete the mission… and not end up his dinner. This ‘escape room’ cave tour is designed specifically with children in mind, and great for all ages.
Be amused at the museum
The Waikato Museum is an inspirational place for the whole family with its ever-changing exhibits. Discover the history of Hamilton through fascinating exhibitions and activities while the kids check out the Exscite science gallery – designed to the kids entertained for hours. Open from 10-5pm daily.
Short on change?
Explore an enchanting world…
The Hamilton Gardens are a maze of secret gardens. Add some extra fun to your visit and grab an activity sheet and set out on the Discovery Trail. The activity sheet includes bingo, i-spy a word-find and even some trivia. Download a copy from the Hamilton Gardens website or pick one up from the information centre and get exploring.
Oh, how we love to be by the seaside
Raglan is a family’s ‘beach holiday’ dream. There are a variety of activities to choose from: horse treks, surfing lessons, paddle boarding/kayaking, hiking and chasing waterfalls. Plus, the many eateries and shops splattered about the town.
I like to ride my bicycle!
The Waikato is a haven of cycle trails and is simply stunning explored by bike. There are a number of family friendly trails including the backcountry Timber Trail, Hauraki Rail Trail and the Waikato River Trail for those who want something a bit more challenging. The Te Awa cycleway along the banks of the Waikato river offers drop off and pick up of bicycles along the length of the 70km cycleway.
Take a stroll
Lake Rotoroa (otherwise known as Hamilton Lake) is found in the heart of the city. Grab your strollers, front packs, bikes or scooters and don some sturdy shoes, this 3.8km loop around the lake is perfect for taking in the sites of Hamilton. You can stop along the way and watch the array of birdlife that make the lake their home, as well as explore the playgrounds and stop for a bite to eat at the many cafes.