Discover Hamilton

Cheap flights to Hamilton from Wellington and Christchurch.

About our flights to Hamilton

Air New Zealand operates daily non-stop flights to Hamilton from Wellington and Christchurch, with connections across the New Zealand domestic network. With all our New Zealand domestic airfares you can choose seat, seat+bag, flexichange or flexirefund fare types. Flexichange gives you the flexibility to change your flight with no change fees while flexirefund is fully refundableFind out more about our New Zealand domestic seat options.

What to see and do in and around Hamilton 

Bisected by New Zealand's longest river, the city of Hamilton has one of New Zealand's most innovative public gardens, a riverside walk, river cruises, and a great restaurant and bar scene. To the west is Raglan, a funky little seaside town where perfect surfing waves break onto black sand beaches. A short journey south lands you in Waitomo, a place for mysterious cave tours and underground adventure pursuits.

Discover Hamilton Gardens

Hamilton Gardens is a horticultural wonderland with the wow factor. It's a collection of themed displays grouped into one magnificent garden experience. And admission's free for this popular attraction! Wander through the Japanese Garden of Contemplation, the Modernist Garden, Te Parapara Garden, Tudor Garden, Surrealist Garden and many more. 

Restaurants in Hamilton

The city centre is where you'll find most of the best Hamilton restaurants. Favourite places here include Gothenburg, Madam Woo, Mr Pickles, Hayes Common, Iguana and Palate Restaurant, which overlooks the river. To the west, Good George Dining Hall does the brewpub-meets-restaurant thing really well.

Explore Hamilton cultural attractions

Waikato Museum, Te Whare Taonga O Waikato, has 13 galleries for learning about visual art, social history, tangata whenua and science, from both a local and global perspective. There's always something amazing to see here, so check out the museum's website for current exhibitions. Many displays are free to see.

Fun and sightseeing on the Waikato River

No exploration of Hamilton is complete without some kind of river encounter. Catch a cruise from the museum or Hamilton Gardens, or stroll the riverside trail that runs through the city. The Waikato River is New Zealand's longest waterway, so watching it roll by at 327 cubic-metres-per-second is definitely an Instagrammable moment.

Delve into the subterranean wonderland of Waitomo Caves

At Waitomo you can go underground to experience a world of countless glowworms and magnificent limestone formations. Drift gently through the caves in a boat or stretch your limits with a black water rafting tour, where you'll wear a wet suit and hard hat while floating along underground streams on an inflatable tube. Several caves also offer easy one or two-hour walking tours. You can also embark on a full-on caving adventure that involves abseiling, squeezes and other speleological feats.  

Commune with nature at Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari

An hour south of Hamilton, Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari is a conservation success story that covers 3400 hectares, making it one of the biggest predator-fenced conservation projects in the world. Wander the trails on a self-guided adventure or arrange a guided tour to learn about the forest and its inhabitants. This is your chance to catch up with kaka, kereru, kokako, kakariki, koura and a host of other native species. On a night walk, you can hear and possibly see nocturnal species like kiwi and ruru (morepork).

Explore the magical Hobbiton movie set

Less than an hour's drive from Hamilton, HobbitonTM Movie Set tour will transport you to Middle-earth, the magic world of The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies. Built on a private farm, the 12-acre set includes the lush pastures of the Shire, hobbit holes (houses), the mill and the famous Green Dragon Inn. Wander the pathways with your guide and hear fascinating stories of how the movies were made, then relax at the Green Dragon Inn to enjoy a locally brewed refreshment from the Southfarthing range.

Beaches near Hamilton

The city of Hamilton is a 40-minute drive from the west coast, where the Tasman Sea delivers a steady supply of swells for surfers and beach-appreciators. The black sand on this coast is magnetic, quite literally, because it's broken down from iron that was deposited on the coast by volcanic activity about 2.5 million years ago. The moody beauty of Raglan, Kawhia is legendary.

Go surfing and hiking in Raglan, a world-famous surf town

Featured in the 1966 round-the-world surfing movie Endless Summer, Raglan is possibly New Zealand's most famous surfing destination. The ultimate break here is Manu Bay, which is 8km west from Raglan township. Raglan's not just for surfers; it also has excellent eateries, interesting shopping and a choice of hiking trails. 

Learn to surf at Ngarunui Beach

Ngarunui is the main beach at Raglan, also known as Wainui Beach. Gorgeous at any time of the year, Ngarunui really comes into its own in the warmer months. The beach break is great for learning to surf, body surfing and playing in the waves.

Have a natural spa at Kawhia Hot Water Beach

The west coast town of Kawhia has a secret beneath its beach – a geothermal spring that bubbles hot water up through the sand. At low tide you can dig your own spa pool, then settle back to watch the waves.

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Keep exploring Waikato & Hamilton

Essential information

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What's the best time to visit Hamilton and the Waikato?

There are things to do in Hamilton and the Waikato at every time of the year, and many of the activities are not weather-dependent – like exploring the Waitomo Caves, discovering the city's best restaurants and cruising on the Waikato River. If you love to surf or body surf, bring a wetsuit if you're visiting during the cooler months.

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How much will it cost?

Not including air travel and hotels, you should allow about NZD $100 to $150 a day per person for food and entertainment on a Hamilton and Waikato region holiday.

Visas icon.

Do I need a visa to visit Hamilton?

You might need a visa to holiday in New Zealand, depending on where you're from and how long you're staying. See the visa-waiver list.

Cheap flights to Hamilton

Flight route

Wellington (WLG) to Hamilton (HLZ)

Flight time*

1h 10m






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Flight route

Christchurch (CHC) to Hamilton (HLZ)

Flight time*

1h 45m






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*Flight times are based on the fastest route available.
**Indirect flights may also be available for this route.

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