Hamilton’s key sights include the city’s lovely Hamilton Gardens and a couple of good museums.


The road into town from Auckland (Ulster St) is lined with dozens of unremarkable, traffic-noisy motels, which are passable for short stays. Hotels in the city centre have regular online discounts and provide good access to cafes, restaurants and bars.


Befitting one of the North Island’s biggest cities, Hamilton has a tasty selection of eateries. Around Victoria and Hood Sts you’ll find the greatest diversity of eateries, including Vietnamese, Turkish, Mexican and Japanese. For authentic Asian flavours, check out the restaurant strip along Collingwood St, southwest of Victoria St. Across the river, Hamilton East is developing as a dining destination.

Drinking & Nightlife

The blocks around Victoria and Hood Sts make for a boozy bar-hop, with weekend live music and DJs. The city also has a good craft-beer scene worth exploring. Friday is the big night of the week.