10 Ways to Explore Hamilton on a Budget
Established along the robust Waikato River, Hamilton is the largest city in the Waikato region and is an excellent city to visit if you’re travelling on a budget. There are plenty of free-to-enjoy or affordable activities to partake in and you’ll find yourself spoiled for choice.
- The Riverside Walkway
Take a stroll alongside the mighty Waikato River on the Riverside Walkway which stretches 11km and can be accessed by various points along the city centre. You’ll be taken through bush, parks, and residential areas via a mixture of paving and boardwalks, and the walkway is suitable for cycling too.
- The Waikato Museum
A visit to the free-to-enter Waikato Museum is an immersive Maori experience and offers a fantastic mixture of Maori history and contemporary Maori art. With plenty of temporary exhibits which are frequently changed, you will need at least an hour to make the most of the experience.
- The Hamilton Gardens
Hamilton Gardens is often awarded International Garden of the year and it’s obvious why it’s the pride of the city. Entry is free to 4 themed gardens which transport you to different countries through their use of exotic plants.
- Zealong Tea Plantation
New Zealand’s only tea plantation, the Zealong Tea Plantation, is a 10-minute drive from the Hamilton city centre. You’ll have the opportunity to taste the world’s purest oolong tea or enjoy a tour with a tasting included – both of which are very affordable.
- The Hamilton SkyCity Casino
If you’re looking for thrills to suit all budgets, you can’t go wrong with the Hamilton SkyCity Casino. Open 24 hours a day with 300+ gaming machines and 20+ table games, there truly is something for everyone. Looking for the fun without the crowds? Enjoy online pokies NZ in the comfort of your room or on the go.
- Victoria Street
Victoria Street is the place to meet! Indulge in a beer or cocktail at one of its many bars and you may just meet your new best friends. There are plenty of eateries and clubs too and socialising is the order of the day on Victoria Street.
- The Parks of the City Centre
There is an abundance of parks in Hamilton and you’ll be able to enjoy everything from Garden Place in the city centre with sculptures and water features, to Hamilton Lake Domain which is surrounded by a 3.8km walk. Buy a few snacks, take a blanket, and have yourself a Hamilton park picnic.
- Play Miniature Golf
There is plenty of fun to be had with miniature/crazy golf at the Centre Place shopping mall. The themes of the Lilliput golf course are changed up regularly so you’ll be in for a surprise when you challenge your travelling buddies, and the full price is usually around NZ$15 per person.
- Bargain Bin Shopping
Hamilton is jam-packed with second-hand shops so you’ll easily be able to pick up some affordable supplies or souvenirs for your friends and family back home. The greatest concentration of second-hand shops can be found on Liverpool Street, Ulster Street, River Road, and Te Aroha Street in Hamilton central.
- Vintage Hunting
Nestled amongst the second-hand shops are some vintage finds, such as ReVamp on Commerce Street, Viva Vintage in the Urlich Shopping Centre, and Maggie Pie on Te Aroha Street. If you find yourself on Railside Place, off State Highway 1, there is even a Classics Museum with classic cars and an American-style diner.
Happy, affordable travels!