Hamilton, New Zealand, is a fantastic destination for a semester abroad. Located on the North Island of New Zealand and resting upon the Waikato River, for which the university is named, it is an ideal place to study, explore, and spend the most incredible months of your life. Hamilton is full of great activities, and we’ve compiled a list to help you choose!
As if you will ever be in need of some fresh air, the Hamilton Gardens are a great spot to take in the local charm and beauty of the Waikato area. This 54 hectare public park owned and managed by the city council, and it features 21 separate gardens with different themes of culture, spiritually, and history. The park hosts over 2,000 events per year and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area, but worry not—you are sure to find a solitary spot in this beautiful park to sit and reflect on your experience for a while.
Waikato & ArtsPost Museum
Hamilton is a major spot for art and culture in New Zealand, and it is home to a fantastic coalition of museums. The Waikato museum hosts major traveling galleries from around the world, while ArtsPost is a smaller gallery-style space with a shop that features local New Zealand artists. Spend the day wandering throughout the artwork and immersing yourself in both international and New Zealand culture. Don’t forget to support local art!
Days on this lake are spent sailing, running around the lake trails, and catching local sporting events that take place in the park surrounding the lake. Centrally located in the middle of Hamilton, this local landmark is a beautiful spot for a bit of exercise and a break from your schoolwork. Or better yet—catch up on homework at a nearby cafe and take in the lakeside views!
It’s no secret that New Zealand is pretty obsessed with their rugby, so naturally no visit to New Zealand is complete without watching a live match. Catch the Chiefs, the Waikato Rugby Union, and if you’re lucky, the New Zealand All Blacks—the national team! Get your Kiwi pride on and suit up to cheer on your local heroes, and get ready for a seriously incredible bonding experience with you new local friends.
Coffee, Cafes, and Shopping
Hamilton offers a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops. Stop by one of the many caffeine-refueling stations during your school day to keep you energized for the day, or spend an evening walking down Casabella Lane, one of Hamilton’s best-kept secrets. This chic lane hosts several adorable boutique stores, restaurants, and cafes. This area will definitely satisfy all of your international shopping needs.
Take in some of New Zealand and Australia’s famous wildlife at this local yet extensive zoo! This public area also offers sights of Amazon rainforest animals, a reptile house, a chimpanzee exhibit, a bird sanctuary, and many more. Show off your wild side and get up close and personal with some of these incredible creatures—you can even take part in volunteer and conservation projects at the zoo!
Hot Air Balloon Festival
If you are lucky and find yourself in Hamilton in April, you just might catch the Hot Air Balloon festival! At dawn, countless hot air balloons ascend into the sky, polka-dotting the horizon with their brightly-colored canvases. The event lasts all day and eventually the balloons come down, which is a sight in itself. If you get even luckier, you may be able to find yourself in the basket of one! Plan in advance and make sure to visit this show, it will definitely be a memorable one!
There are countless other activities in Hamilton, but the rest you will have to discover for yourself! For a guide on day trips from Hamilton, click here.
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Posted by World Endeavors on December 8, 2016
World Endeavors believes that international travel has the power to change lives, broaden horizons, and deepen intercultural understanding. The world is undergoing rapid changes, with societies becoming more interconnected and environmentally aware; at the same time a more challenging global economy inspires in many a need to reach out and make a positive difference while seeking personal growth opportunities. There has never been a better time than now to travel abroad.