What to do in Hamilton

by Noted / 19 June, 2017
Hamilton is one of the fastest growing centres in the country right now, which is great for visitors. More places to stay, more pubs, more shopping; Hamilton has it all. It’s a seat of learning and business development, but hasn’t forgotten about parks and bike tracks

STADIUM

FMG Stadium Waikato, Seddon Road, Hamilton Capacity: 25,800

Hamiltonians love their rugby, so FMG Stadium Waikato is routinely witness to a full house. Later this year it will be hosting two games in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, the first time that code has ever paid a visit to the park.

No need for taxis; the stadium is just a 15-minute walk from the city’s main drag, Victoria Street, which makes it rather easy to get to from where you probably want to be.

A LOCAL ‘MUST-DO’

It might feel busy and expanding (because it is), but Hamilton is also well-known for its parks and gardens. There’s even a lake (Lake Rotoroa, confusingly) slap-bang in the middle of town. Hamilton Gardens borders the Waikato River which lazes its way through the city, making for an especially enjoyable amble if you have the time.

BEST PHOTO OP

Hamilton is a river city, with the country’s longest waterway – the Waikato River – running right through the centre of town. Book a seat on the Waikato River Explorer and head up on deck with your camera for snap-worthy scenes of lush bush, mist-shrouded shores and big bridges. Pick your cruise perfectly and there are wine trips on offer too, although make sure your camera has its auto-focus function activated.

EAT IT UP

Inside SkyCity Hamilton you’ll find a variety of first class dining establishments, including

La Parrilla, which is receiving rave reviews for offering up the best traditional Spanish cuisine in town.

The award-winning Chim Choo Ree on Bridge Street fuses Asian fare with Kiwi classics, with a real focus on game meats. Book in before you head to the match.

If you want to twin your food with views, head to Gothenburg Café Restaurant & Bar on Grantham Street. You’ll be able to enjoy awesome tapas and gaze out over the Waikato River, all at the same time.

BEERSIES

Imagine if gastro-boffin Heston Blumenthal decided to start brewing beer. We reckon Hamilton’s Good George Brewing would be the result. Yes, they create crafty classics such as amber and pale ales, a pilsner and both IPA and APAs. But they also have a penchant for the whimsical, with unique drops like Scarlett O’Hara Peach Cider, Rocky Road Black Stout and Rocket Coffee IPA pushing the boat out.

WHERE ELSE CAN WE GO?

Grab a rental car (ideally one with surfboard-friendly roof-rails) and head west to Raglan on the Waikato coast. This hip spot mixes surf culture with championship coffee intake and a slower-paced rural Kiwi vibe. Whether you’re relaxing down at the beach, doing ‘bombs’ off the famous Raglan footbridge spanning the inner harbour, or chowing down in one of the many cafés and restaurants, you’ll pat yourself on the back for discovering this quintessential Kiwi seaside town. In fact, you’re only 45 minutes from Hamilton here, so look at hiring a Raglan beach house for your time in the Waikato... just for something completely different between matches.

DID YOU KNOW

Hamilton is an agri-science wonderland (if agri-science is indeed something you consider wondrous), with Waikato University a flash-point of all that is academically innovative and globally-focused within New Zealand’s robust primary industries. Hamilton also boasts around a thousand PhD-qualified scientists in residence. Brainy!

SAY WHAT?

It’s not so much language as sound; head to a Waikato rugby game at FMG Stadium Waikato and the stands will resonate with the sound of a dozen cow bells, not being rung in unison. The provincial Waikato side is known as the ‘Mooloos’, hence the cow bell connection. Who needs an emotive stadium anthem to sing along to when the endless clonkin of unchoreographed cow bells will do?

 

This was originally published in The Tour, a souvenir magazine for the British and Irish Lions 2017. On sale now.

MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

Answering the tough questions on resettling refugees in New Zealand
84636 2017-12-18 00:00:00Z Social issues

Answering the tough questions on resettling refuge…

by Rachel O’Connor

1,000 former refugees will enjoy their first Kiwi Christmas this year. Half will be kids, oblivious to the resettlement debate that rages around them.

Read more
Worn-out mumps vaccine can leave people at risk
85083 2017-12-18 00:00:00Z Health

Worn-out mumps vaccine can leave people at risk

by Ruth Nichol

Today the All Blacks, tomorrow the rest of us, as worn-out mumps jabs leave people vulnerable.

Read more
Pukeko pests - and what to do with them
84324 2017-12-18 00:00:00Z Life in NZ

Pukeko pests - and what to do with them

by Rebecca Hayter

Rebecca Hayter finds it takes a lot of smarts to outsmart a pukeko.

Read more
2017: A year of hard truths
84210 2017-12-17 00:00:00Z Currently

2017: A year of hard truths

by Graham Adams

Our national mantra of “She’ll be right” looks to have backfired. Graham Adams reflects on 2017.

Read more
Are salt-cured and pickled meats bad for your health?
84970 2017-12-17 00:00:00Z Health

Are salt-cured and pickled meats bad for your heal…

by Jennifer Bowden

Processed foods, such as ham, bacon and sausages, are bad news for our health, but what about salt-cured or pickled meat?

Read more
Hostage tells: How I outfoxed killer Antonie Dixon
83412 2017-12-16 00:00:00Z Crime

Hostage tells: How I outfoxed killer Antonie Dixon…

by Gareth Eyres

Ian Miller was held hostage in his Auckland home by meth-fuelled, gun-wielding killer Antonie Dixon. He'd never told his story. Until now.

Read more
The epilogue that sheds light on Antonie Dixon's dark deeds
83430 2017-12-16 00:00:00Z Crime

The epilogue that sheds light on Antonie Dixon's d…

by Gareth Eyres

How have those affected by Antonie Dixon's night of carnage fared nearly 15 years later?

Read more
Nokia and Motorola phones are making a comeback
84440 2017-12-16 00:00:00Z Technology

Nokia and Motorola phones are making a comeback

by Peter Griffin

It's been a long time since Nokia and Motorola ruled, but they're back with new mid-market smart phones.

Read more