Hamilton, New Zealand
The bustling city of Hamilton, New Zealand is the 4th largest city in New Zealand after Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. Hamilton is just 1½ hours drive south of Auckland. From Hamilton the Coromandel Peninsula, Rotorua, Lake Taupo and Waitomo Caves are all easily accessible.
Hamilton is split by the Waikato River, New Zealand's longest river. The Waikato starts on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park, and then flows through Lake Taupo, before flowing into the Tasman Sea north of Hamilton.
Whilst in Hamilton take a coffee, lunch or dinner time cruise on the MV Waipa Delta River Cruise; which is a grand old paddle steamer that will take you back in time to a bygone era.
For the best view of Waikato, you could take a Hot Air Balloon Ride over Hamilton. On a clear day, you can see as far as the snow-capped peaks of Tongariro National Park. Hamilton Zoo is set in beautiful gardens, and has a large walk-through aviary, which allows the many native birds the freedom to fly around you.
Located on the Waikato River is the Hamilton Gardens, the regions most popular attraction. Hamilton Gardens has a series of 5 separate themed gardens including a Paradise Collection, Fantasy Garden and Landscape Garden. Each year a Hamilton Gardens Summer Festival is held here.