Waikato Recreation

Known for its scenic diversity, the Waikato region offers a myriad of options.
Looking for general recreation information?

Along with a wealth of nature-based activities, there are all the events and attractions you’d expect to enjoy in a bustling, vibrant city.

Waikato | Tourism New Zealand

Hamilton | Tourism New Zealand

Experiences | Hamilton & Waikato

Taupo | Tourism New Zealand

What's on Hamilton

Events capital | Taupo District Council

Sport and recreation

District councils around the region provide a range of recreation facilities including sportsgrounds, parks and gardens. Your local community centre may also run many different activities and groups for the community to join.

Hamilton Pools

Leisure and recreation | Taupo District Council

Waikato Community centres | Citizen's Advice Bureau

Sports clubs and groups

New Zealanders enjoy a huge range of sporting activities - the Sport New Zealand website lists everything from Aikido to Zen Do Kai!  Check the site to see what’s available in your area and how you can get involved.  Joining a club or team is a great way to meet people. 

Search for a club | Sport Waikato

Find a sport | Sport New Zealand

Clubs in Waikato | CAB


Tracks and walks

There are many opportunities to stretch your legs, clear your lungs and get close to nature on the walkways and tracks you’ll find wherever you go in New Zealand. Check the Department of Conservation site to find the great walks available in Waikato and the Central North Island. There are also plenty of parks and reserves to enjoy in the region. 

Tracks & walks in Waikato | DOC

Tracks & walks in the Central North Island | DOC

Parks and reserves | Hamilton City Council

Parks and reserves | Taupo District Council


Waikato offers plenty of opportunities for children to play in safe playgrounds, including a number of skateboard parks. Check with your local district to find playgrounds and parks near you.

Playgrounds | Hamilton City Council

Playgrounds | Taupo District Council

Fishing and hunting rules

Both fishing and hunting are a big part of life for many in the Waikato region. Check the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Fish and Game NZ websites for full information about licences and restrictions on hunting and fishing in freshwater. The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) has information about the rules of fishing in the sea. 

It is very important to be aware of restrictions as there can be serious penalties for breaching them. 

Where to hunt in Waikato | DOC

Auckland/Waikato freshwater fishing | Fish and Game NZ

Waikato, Auckland and Kermadec saltwater fishing rules | MPI

Dog walking areas and regulations

New Zealand has various laws about looking after and controlling dogs. Each council has their own bylaws. Check with your local council for full details. 

Dogs | Hamilton City Council

Animal management | Taupo District Council


The Waikato region features great tracks through beautiful scenery. Find out more about the tracks available in the region at the websites below.

Cycling the Waikato

Lake Taupo | Bike Taupo

Cycleways and walkways | Hamilton City Council

The town of Cambridge, 24 kilometres southeast of Hamilton, is home to one of New Zealand's two pourpose-built velodromes.

Grassroots Trust | Velodrome

Art and culture

Museums and galleries

There are a number of museums and art galleries to visit in the Waikato region. You'll find details of each on the NZ Museums website. Local councils also have information about the museums and galleries in their area. 

Waikato | NZ Museums

Waikato Museum

Arts and culture | Great Lake Taupo


There are many theatres around Hamilton. You'll find details about what they offer on their websites.

Founders Theatre (closed, see website for future opening times)

Clarence Street Theatre

Meteor Theatre

Riverlea Theatre

Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts

Shopping centres

These sites give you information about shopping in Hamilton, including shopping malls.

Shopping | Visit Hamilton

Taupo shopping | Great Lake Taupo

Public markets

There are many community markets around the region selling produce, crafts and second hand goods.

Hamilton markets | CAB

Waikato Farmers' Markets

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