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Fresh, bracing sea air. Rugged bush. Beckoning mountain trails. Tantalizing cave openings. Waikato is a diverse region that offers the possibility of many different adventures. Located in the upper part of North Island, Waikato includes over a dozen towns and almost as many landscapes, from sandy beaches to gurgling rivers and wind-swept bush. Each town has its own personality and unique sights to see. The region pulls in backpackers who disappear into Tongariro National Park, holiday celebrants who spend their days on the beach, and other visitors who hop from town to town crossing things off on their bucket list.
Your Waikato adventure will depend on which towns you decide to visit. Hamilton is, by far, the most populated and offers many accommodation and nightlife choices, but other areas in the region have a lot of natural wonders just waiting for you to discover. Consider visiting the volcanic black-sand beaches in Raglan, taking a tour of the famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves, checking out a gold mine in Thames, or spending a lazy day floating on Lake Taupo. The locals are friendly, the smaller towns are charming, and a good pair of hiking boots will never let you down in Waikato! If you’re a movie buff, you’ll definitely want to book a tour of the Hobbiton movie set in Matamata, where you can wander among famous filming locations for “The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings” movies.
The availability of hotels in Waikato will depend on where you decide to stay. Larger towns like Hamilton provide a range of options, from high-end resorts, to mid-range hotels and hostels. Most towns offer one or two cheap backpacking options, as well as mid-range accommodation like most of the hotels in Lake Taupo, but you may be hard-pressed to find a five-star hotel to meet all of your needs. Camping and cabin rentals are popular around national parks, and you may also be able to snag a room at an eco-lodge or even a holiday home rental.
The Hamilton International Airport receives flights from many large cities within New Zealand. Many travellers also make their way to Waikato from Auckland International Airport. Auckland is roughly 125 km from Hamilton, an easy drive in a rental car. It may even be possible to grab a shuttle into town from the Auckland Airport. If you plan on hopping around the Waikato region on your holiday, a rental car can provide you with the freedom to schedule your trip according to your personal preferences.
Save time and money by jumping onto Expedia.co.nz, a place that allows you to compare Waikato accommodation, flights, and even rental car companies side by side. You’ll get more choices than you thought possible, which means you’ll also get the cheapest prices. Visit Expedia today so you’ll have more money to spend on your adventures, instead of on your accommodation.