Park vehicle in Thrifty bay in the public carpark and return key with kms and fuel reading to the desk inside the arrivals terminal. There is a drop on the counter if it is not manned.
Where is the branch located?
Located inside Hamilton Airport arrivals near baggage collection carousel.
With endless ways to experience nature, it’s no wonder the Waikato region is regarded as a nature lovers’ paradise. Get your bearings at Hamilton Airport on New Zealand’s central North Island, and you’ll wonder where to turn the compass first when you take off in your hire car.
Hamilton, the main hub of the region, is a thriving city on the banks of the Waikato, the longest river in New Zealand. It’s a lively spot, not short of attractions, less than 20-minutes north of the airport. The cafes and nightlife in Hamilton have a real vibrancy, while its plentiful eating options range from fine dining to tasty on a budget. The arts and culture, local markets and shopping are also well-worth staying in town for.
The acclaimed Hamilton Gardens lures in more visitors than any other attraction in the region, with the festival in February a particular highlight. Features include a famed themed-garden extravaganza: a lush and perfumed showcase of distinct garden styles. From Italian Renaissance, traditional Māori, to a Chinese Scholars’ Garden, the horticultural craft here will astonish you. Take a picnic lunch or dine al fresco with lake views. Round your day off in Hamilton at the Waikato Museum and the Hamilton Zoo.
If you’re here to discover the untamed side of Mother Nature, you won’t have to travel far from Hamilton Airport. In under an hour, you’ll be exploring the striking black beaches around Raglan Harbour. Renowned as a surfing hotspot, the waves and breaks are simply amazing; while rock climbing and Raglan’s café culture also get a big tick.
Drive south-west from Hamilton Airport and you’ll be amongst rolling landscapes and farmlands. Beneath the hills lie the famous Waitomo Caves: glittering glow-worms in their thousands lighting up the limestone caverns. Glide through this magical subterranean wonderland on a boat; or if you’re more daring, try the dark water rafting tour along the underground streams; or abseil down a sinkhole.
Waikato also boasts spectacular hiking trails, with waterfalls and the purest crystal waters, plus more epic views than you could count. It’s also a place that passionately preserves its wildlife and wilderness. Embrace Hamilton and Waikato and get outdoors, ready for your next great adventure.
Waterfalls are plentiful in the Waikato region. All embrace stunning walks of varying lengths and difficulties, with beautiful destinations to reach. The majestic Wairere Falls near Matamata are the highest, and considered the most spectacular on the North Island, with a 153-metre drop to enjoy from a viewing platform. After the scenic 90-minute walk, cool your feet in the cascades that stream through the ferns and mossy rocks.
Take a short drive from Waitomo village to the smaller, but no less scenic, Marokopa Falls. The walk is easy at 20 minutes, and the waters are popular for trout fishing. While you’re in the neighbourhood, head to the Mangapohue Natural Bridge. A short loop boardwalk will take you through a handsome limestone gorge, its walls embedded with 25 million year-old oysters, ending at an impressive 17-metre high limestone arch.
When you’re all beached-out at Raglan, visit the Bridal Veil Falls. Take the 10-minute trail through native bush following the Pakoka River to this popular beauty spot. The two viewing platforms ensure perfect pics from every angle.
There are great walking tracks and cycling trails around Waikato that can be easily accessed by car from Hamilton Airport. These three are guaranteed to top your list.
The Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari is an ecological reserve or ‘island’ on an ancient forested volcano. Home to the giant wētā and native birds such as the kaka, you can enjoy your own bird’s eye view from the canopy viewing tower. Get up-close to these unique species along the popular 5km family-friendly trail. The sanctuary is a haven for endangered bats, frogs, reptiles and the tuatara, along with plant species.
Follow the gorgeous Te Waihou Walkway along some of the purest running streams in the world. Arrive at the famed Blue Spring, source of 70% of New Zealand’s bottled water. Or take the Te Aroha Summit track, a 45-minute drive from Hamilton, and climb to the Whakapipi Lookout on the Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park.
Once you’ve travelled those trails, if you’re looking for a true test of fitness, take on the Hakarimata Walk. Rise to the challenge and ascend the stairs to the summit, 374-metres above sea level.
Whether easy or adventurous, everyone can enjoy the changing scenery around the Waikato region. You may be surprised at the levels you’ll go to discover Hamilton’s beautiful nature.