North Island AttractionsAttractions on the North Island
Hamilton & Waikato's closeness to other cities makes it an ideal starting point for discovering the main North Island. Hamilton offers the gate to some of New Zealand's best resorts, from Rotorua's Taupo spa attractions and Trout angling or Mount Ruapehu ski to the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty sandy shores and Auckland's many attractions.
Hamilton is the starting point and you are never far away from the best attractions. Just a little further away, but still within reach, are other touristic hot spots such as Auckland, Rotorua, Lake Taupo and the Bay of Plenty. There are no limits to the range of activity you can enjoy from Hamilton. The Thermal Explorer Highway, which runs through the centre of the northern island, is an excellent way for those who want to get the most out of the region's attractions but only have a limited time frame.
From Auckland or Hawkes Bay, you can enjoy Hamilton's relaxed urbane atmosphere on the Thermal Explorer Highway and the breathtaking Waikato River and world-famous Waitomo Caves for deep sea rappelling, deep sea rappelling or glow-worm watching. Thermal Explorer Highway also leads to Rotorua, the birthright of New Zealand touristism, for hot springs, and Taupo for open air activities and adventures.
For more information, please see the Explore Central North Island website or the Mineral Explorer Highway Route. The Auckland is about 90 minutes by car north of Hamilton, overlooking the Waikato River on the way. The Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Plenty boast the country's best sandy beach, just over an hour's car ride from Hamilton.
Just an hours from Hamilton is Rotorua, a spa landmark where natural beauty is seen spectacularly with gushing mud pools and gushing geyser elements and where a relaxed dip in a warm swimming pool makes a great end to a stop. Located further southeast and about two and a half driving from Hamilton on State Highway 1, Lake Taupo and its affluents offer some of the best trout fisheries in the globe - along with breathtaking scenery, adventurous activity, amazing Huka Falls on the Waikato River, easy ski field entry to Mount Ruapehu and one of New Zealand's best hikes, Tongariro Crossing.