Fly into this endearing town and explore the surrounding Waikato region of New Zealand. An excellent hub for the central North Island, visitors can strike out from Hamilton into Rotorua and nearby Taupo.
Hamilton Airport (HLZ)
Situated in the North Island of New Zealand in the Waikato region, Hamilton Airport (HLZ) was originally constructed as a military airport for air force operations in WW2. It is the second busiest domestic airport in New Zealand, but as this is a small airport, the facilities aren’t extensive. You’ll find a large café serving food and drink, and a Paper Plus store, with magazines, books and travel accessories.
Airlines to Hamilton
Hamilton is a domestic airport servicing the rest of the country, and the major airline carriers are Air New Zealand, Kiwi Regional Airlines and Sun Air.
Getting into Hamilton
There is only one taxi company offering services into the main part of town, called Hamilton Taxis. A journey into Hamilton city centre from the airport will typically take around 20 minutes and cost around 32NZD ($29).
There are also shuttle services available, which will take you door to door, and they will cost around 30NZD ($27)
Travelling by car is one of the most popular ways to travel in New Zealand because it gives visitors a great deal of mobility to see all the natural attractions. The rental companies that operate out of Hamilton are Avis, Budget, Hertz, Europcar and Thrifty.
What can you do in Hamilton?
This land locked city may not be one of New Zealand’s flagship destinations, but what it lacks in a shore, it more than makes up for with its inland charm. Sitting on the banks of New Zealand’s longest river, Waikato, this is a great little hub from which to base your explorations of this country’s North Island.
Greenery is easy to come by in New Zealand, and none more so than the region of Waikato, where parks and gardens abound. Visit the lovely Hamilton Gardens, which overlook Turtle Lake, and feature a series of magical themed gardens, from Japanese, Chinese and Indian, to English and Italian. Or pack a picnic and head to the Taitua Arboretum, 20 hectares of wilderness that offers a little peace and tranquillity from the bustle of the city.
Take a cruise down the pretty Waikato River, a great way to get to grips with geography of the city, and enable you to see Hamilton Gardens and the Victoria Bridge all from the deck of a boat.
To learn out about the heritage of this town, and the indigenous Maori culture, there’s no better place than the Waikato Museum. See precious artefacts belonging to the Tainui Maori tribe, including an impressive tradition canoe, or waka.
Nearby Hamilton, is a series of famous New Zealand attractions that makes this city an excellent spot to base your adventures. Take a day trip out to Hobbiton, the famous movie set from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings, or see the magical Waitomo Caves, which are lit by glow worms. Or for a real adventure, go mountain biking in the Cougar Mountain Bike Park, or take the family on a rough and ready ride down the Waikato River.
When should you go?
The best time to visit Hamilton tends to be in the warm summer months (December-February), where you’ll find the temperatures average in the mid-20s. The shoulder seasons of spring (September-November) and autumn (March-May) are also lovely, and great for hiking, as the mercury stays in the high teens. These shoulder seasons also have less tourists, but New Zealand can get quite chilly, dipping as low as 9-10°C.
What do you need to know?
Currency: New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
Visa: Some nationalities do not need a visa to travel through New Zealand in the short term, but most will need to apply for a visa. Find out if you are eligible for a visa-on-arrival, and how to apply for a visa in advance of your trip by checking the official government website for details.
Please note all information is current as of October 2015.
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Airports near Hamilton
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