Set amongst the growing café culture and modern town lifestyle is some of the North Island’s premier shops and retail experiences. Boutiques, high-end fashion stores and large shopping malls make retail therapy an easy way to lighten your wallet. The European inspired Cassabella Lane is peppered with all kinds of boutiques and eateries and comes highly recommended.
Other noteworthy attractions in Hamilton include, the Hamilton Zoo with 450 exotic and endangered animals and birds from around the world. The zoo also boasts the largest walk in free flight aviary in the southern hemisphere. Located at the southern end of Hamilton City, Hamilton Gardens is the most popular visitor attraction in the area and holds nearly 2000 events each year. The free park has fifty eight hectares of gardens from around the world. Hamilton is also the host of the biggest agricultural trade show in the southern hemisphere.
The National Agricultural Fieldays, a Gardens Summer Festival and the Balloons Over Waikato hot-air ballooning festival.
And when the city gets too much? Hamilton is blessed by New Zealand’s longest river, the Waikato that meanders through it for nearly sixteen kilometers providing an excellent way to explore and relax. The paddle steamer MV Waipa Delta rambles across the river or kayak and canoe tours are popular as is the recently completed eleven kilometer walkway along the river banks.
Nearby are some New Zealand’s most beautiful attractions, the Coromandel Peninsula, Mount Maunganui, Rotorua, Lake Taupo, the Waitomo Caves, Raglan or the Whakapapa or Turoa ski fields.