Where To Stay In Hamilton [Best Places to Stay for 2024]

Travelling to Hamilton, New Zealand is an exciting opportunity for anyone looking to explore the beauty of the country. The city has so much to offer from stunning landscapes to a vibrant culture – it truly has something for everyone.

I’ve travelled all over New Zealand and have family that live there, so I’m very familiar with the unique features of this amazing place. As a semi-full time traveller, I’ve got plenty of tips on where to stay in Hamilton that will make your trip even better.

You can also ask around and see what other travellers recommend or search online for reviews from previous visitors. My best advice would be to look at the area carefully before making any decisions and try to find accommodation that fits your budget and needs.

At the end of the day, no matter where you choose to stay in Hamilton, New Zealand, you’ll be sure to have an amazing time exploring this beautiful city!

Hamilton is known for its captivating landscapes and natural beauty, a vibrant city located in the Waikato region of New Zealand’s North Island. If you’re traveling alone, with a partner, or the family, let us help you decide where to stay in Hamilton since it offers a lot and not just the famous Shire, from Lord of the Rings. 

Waikato river near Fairfield Bridge, Hamilton, New Zealand

The city is situated on the banks of the Waikato River, providing picturesque views and opportunities for river walks, boat rides, and kayaking. Often referred to as the “Garden City” due to its abundance of green spaces, the Hamilton Gardens, with their diverse range of themed gardens, are a must-visit attraction for nature lovers.

In addition to these, you can explore other parks like the Hamilton Lake Domain, which offers walking tracks, picnic spots, and playgrounds. The nearby Raglan Beach is a popular surfing destination known for its black sand.

If you’re seeking adventure, Hamilton has you covered. You can go jet boating on the Waikato River, try your hand at indoor rock climbing, or go for a thrilling zipline tour at nearby Woodhill Forest. The Waikato region is also known for its hiking trails, cycling routes, and opportunities for water sports.

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Hamilton

❤️ Best Area first timersHamilton Central
💸 Best Luxury HotelSpacious Modern Two-Bedroom Apartment
👪 Best Hotel for For FamiliesAtrium On Ulster
🏨 Best Mid-Range HotelLake Retreat – Hamilton Holiday Home
🛏️ Best Budget Hotelibis Hamilton Tainui
✨ Best HostelHamilton City Inn

Just a short drive from Hamilton, you can visit the famous Hobbiton Movie Set, which was used in the filming of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies. It’s a unique experience to explore the picturesque Shire and immerse yourself in the world of Middle-earth.

Hamilton city houses a rich cultural scene with various museums, art galleries, and theaters. The Waikato Museum showcases the region’s history, art, and science exhibits, while the Founders Theatre and Clarence Street Theatre host a wide range of performances, including plays, concerts, and dance shows.

There are a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, like the Balloons over Waikato festival showcases colorful hot air balloons filling the sky, while the Fieldays, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest agricultural event, attracts visitors from around the country. There are also food and wine festivals, music concerts, and sporting events to enjoy.

Boasting a diverse culinary scene, you will find a wide range of cafes, restaurants, and eateries. From fine dining establishments to casual local favorites, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your taste buds.

The city also has a growing craft beer and wine scene, with several breweries and wineries in the surrounding region. Hamilton is centrally located, making it a great base for exploring other parts of the North Island.

It’s within easy driving distance of attractions like Rotorua, Waitomo Caves, and the Coromandel Peninsula, allowing you to embark on day trips and discover more of New Zealand’s natural wonders. There are various hotels in Hamilton, New Zealand, depending on your travel preferences.

Whether you’re interested in nature, culture, adventure, or simply relaxing in beautiful surroundings, Hamilton has something to offer.

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Hamilton Central – Where to stay in Hamilton for first timers

Let us introduce to you the high-spirited heart of Hamilton, a great area to start during your adventures through New Zealand as a first-timer and probably the best place to stay in Hamilton

since it gives you a taste of the city’s cultural, culinary, and social scene. 

Its central location, diverse offerings, and lively atmosphere make it an ideal starting point to discover all that Hamilton and the wider Waikato region have to offer.

Why stay in Hamilton Central?

Let us start with its location, Hamilton Central is conveniently located in the city’s core, making it a great starting point for exploring the wider region with the opportunity for great and affordable accommodation within the Hamilton CBD.

It’s easily accessible by car, bus, or train, and serves as a hub for various transportation networks. Expect a bustling urban atmosphere with a wide array of shops, boutiques, cafes, restaurants, and entertainment options.

The city’s main street, Victoria Street, is a hub of activity, featuring a mix of local and international retailers, charming eateries, and lively bars.

A must-visit attraction in Hamilton Central is the Hamilton Gardens. Located just east of the city center, the gardens are a collection of beautifully themed gardens representing different historical periods and cultures.

It’s a tranquil and picturesque place to explore, learn about different garden styles, and enjoy a leisurely stroll. The city centre is situated on the banks of the Waikato River, which offers a picturesque setting for various outdoor activities.

Home to many cultural institutions and venues, the Waikato Museum showcases art, history, and science exhibits, while the Meteor Theatre and Clarence Street Theatre host a range of live performances, including theater, music, and dance. 

Like any city, Hamilton Central offers a diverse shopping experience, from well-known retail chains to boutique stores and local markets. You can find everything from fashion and homeware to unique local products.

The city is also renowned for its vibrant food scene, with a variety of dining options catering to different tastes and budgets. 

The city comes alive after dark with its lively bars, pubs, and clubs. Whether you’re looking for a cozy pub atmosphere, live music performances, or a vibrant nightlife scene, the city center offers plenty of options for evening entertainment and socializing.

Keep an eye out for the numerous events and festivals throughout the year. From cultural celebrations and food festivals to music concerts and sporting events, there’s always something happening in the city center. Be sure to check the events calendar to see what’s on during your visit.

Things to do in Hamilton Central?

  • Explore the Hamilton Gardens: Stroll through the Italian Renaissance Garden, Japanese Garden of Contemplation, or the stunning Indian Char Bagh Garden.
  • Visit the Waikato Museum.
  • Walk along the Waikato River, or explore it on the water via kayak or paddleboard.
  • Shop and Dine on Victoria Street.
  • Enjoy Live Performances at one of the city’s entertainment venues. The Meteor Theatre and Clarence Street Theatre often host plays, music concerts, and dance performances. 
  • Visit the Hamilton Farmers’ Market on a Sunday morning, located at the River Road Car park.
  • Experience the Nightlife, especially in this area.
  • Give the Hamilton Escape room a go at Escape HQ.
  • Check out a show at the Clarence St Theatre.

Best places to stay in Hamilton Central

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Hamilton Central

Budget accommodation in Hamilton Central

Mid range accommodation in Hamilton Central

Family Friendly accommodation in Hamilton Central

Hamilton central, New Zealand, from the Waikato River at dusk

Whitiora – Where to stay in Hamilton with family

If you’re wondering where to stay in Hamilton, NZ, for the best family adventure experience then we highly recommend Whitiora.

A small town located in the Waikato region, whilst it may not be as well-known as larger cities, Whitiora offers a charming and family-friendly environment. It also offers great accommodation options in Hamilton for the full family experience. 

Since it may not have extensive tourist attractions, its peaceful residential setting, proximity to Hamilton, access to nature, and family-friendly activities make it a suitable destination for a quiet and enjoyable family trip. 

Why stay in Whitiora?

Whitiora is primarily a residential area, offering a peaceful and relaxed setting away from the hustle and bustle of larger cities. It provides a quieter and more intimate experience, which can be perfect for families looking for a tranquil getaway.

Located just a short distance from the city center of Hamilton, the proximity allows you to easily access the amenities and attractions of a larger city while enjoying a quieter base in Whitiora. 

In and around Whitiora, there are many activities suitable for families. Nearby, you’ll find parks and playgrounds where children can run, play, and enjoy the outdoors.

Hamilton Lake Domain, for example, offers beautiful scenery, walking tracks, playgrounds, and picnic spots, making it a great place for a family outing. You can easily access nearby reserves, gardens, and rivers that offer opportunities for family-friendly outdoor activities. 

Whitiora’s location also makes it a convenient starting point for day trips to other attractions in the region.

You can venture further to the Hobbiton Movie Set, where you can immerse yourself in the world of Middle-earth.

You will find that Whitiora has a close-knit community atmosphere, with friendly locals and a sense of neighbourliness. You and your family can experience the warmth and hospitality of the locals, creating a welcoming environment during your visit.

Things to do in Whitiora?

  • Hamilton Lake Domain offers a beautiful recreational area for outdoor activities. 
  • Visit Hamilton Gardens, like the Japanese Garden of Contemplation, the Italian Renaissance Garden, and the Surrealist Garden.
  • Find out if anything is going on at the FMG Waikato Stadium, just outside the border.
  • Explore Hamilton City.
  • Take a Day Trip to Hobbiton, Whitiora makes a good base for a day trip to the famous Movie Set.
  • Get your table tennis shoes out and visit the Waikato Table Tennis Association.
  • The Waikato region offers numerous opportunities for outdoor activities, and Whitiora is a convenient starting point. 
  • The nearby Hakarimata Range is also known for its hiking trails and offers panoramic views from the summit.
  • Visit Local Parks.
Matamata New Zealand : Hobbiton movie set created for filming The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies in North Island of New Zealand. It is opened for tourist who visit New Zealand.

Hamilton East – Where to stay in Hamilton on a budget

The name says it all. You will find this superb on the eastern side of Hamilton and if you’re traveling on a budget, then Hamilton East can be a great destination to explore since it offers cheap accommodation in Hamilton, NZ, compared to its surrounding areas.

Providing a more affordable base thanks to its university culture, while still offering access to the amenities and attractions of the City, Hamilton East is possibly the best area to stay in if you’re looking for a low-cost option.

Why stay in Hamilton East?

Hamilton East offers a range of budget-friendly accommodation options, including backpacker hostels, motels, and budget hotels, making it the best area to stay in Hamilton for a cost-effective experience.

You can find comfortable and affordable places to stay that won’t break the bank. The area is located in close proximity to the city center of Hamilton.

Meaning you can easily access the amenities, attractions, and entertainment options available in the city while enjoying potentially more affordable accommodation in Hamilton East.

This Eastern suburb is home to the University of Waikato, which infuses the area with a vibrant and youthful atmosphere. You’ll find a variety of student-friendly establishments, including cafes, bars, and shops that often offer more affordable options.

Keep an eye out for various markets and community events that take place throughout the year. These events showcase local produce, arts, crafts, and entertainment.

Visiting these markets can provide an affordable and enjoyable experience, and you may find unique items or delicious treats to take home.

Just a short distance from Hamilton East, the Hamilton Gardens is a major attraction worth checking out. This stunning garden complex offers free entry, allowing you to explore the beautifully themed gardens representing different cultures and historical periods without spending a dime.

As mentioned previously, sitting nearby is the Waikato River. Offering scenic river walks, cycling trails and parks to enjoy, allowing you to appreciate the natural beauty without spending any money. 

When it comes to local eateries and budget-friendly dining, Hamilton East offers a range of eateries, cafes, and food establishments catering to various budgets. You can find affordable dining options, including cafes with budget-friendly menus and takeaway options.

Things to do in Hamilton East?

  • Explore Grey Street, the main street of Hamilton East and is known for its vibrant atmosphere, unique shops and local treasures.
  • Visit Hamilton East Village.
  • Explore Hamilton East Cemetery, it’s not only a burial ground but also a historical site.
  • Attend Events at the University of Waikato. The university often hosts exhibitions, concerts, and interesting talks.
  • Enjoy River Walks and Parks, such as Parana Park, Galloway Park and Marist Park.
  • Visit the Local Markets, like the Hamilton East Farmers Market, which operates every Sunday.
  • Attend Hamilton East Arts Festival, keep a look out for the date.
  • Visit the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts for any available shows. 
  • Have a spa day at the Serenity Float Massage Clinic.
Hamilton New Zealand - Old graveyard with headstones under trees

Frankton – Where to stay in Hamilton for foodies

Known for its diverse culinary scene, Frankton is a great choice and possibly one of the best places to stay in Hamilton if food dictates most of your travel plans.

As a foodie, Frankton provides an exciting destination with its diverse culinary offerings, ethnic cuisines, farmers’ markets, craft breweries, gourmet stores, and delightful cafes and bakeries.

Whether you’re seeking international flavors, local specialties, or unique food experiences, Frankton has something to satisfy your food cravings and create memorable culinary adventures.

Why stay in Frankton?

Not only does this neighborhood offer great hotels in Hamilton, NZ, Frankton boasts about its wide range of food and beverage options that caters to every palate. From casual eateries to fine dining restaurants, you’ll find a variety of cuisines to explore.

Whether you’re in the mood for international flavors, traditional New Zealand dishes, or fusion cuisine, Frankton has something to offer. You can embark on a culinary journey and sample dishes from around the world.

Explore the flavors of Indian curries, Thai delicacies, Japanese sushi, Chinese stir-fries, Mediterranean delights, and much more. 

Are you a local market fan? Home to the weekly Frankton Farmers’ Market, you can discover fresh produce, artisanal products, and delectable treats sourced from local growers and producers.

The market provides an excellent opportunity to taste and purchase high-quality ingredients to inspire your culinary creations whilst visiting the area. You will also find gourmet food stores that offer a treasure trove of specialty ingredients, artisanal products, and treats. 

The suburb’s cafe scene offers a cozy and inviting atmosphere for foodies to relax and enjoy their culinary delights. Don’t forget to indulge in delicious breakfasts, brunches, pastries, and baked goods, with an expertly brewed cup of coffee.

Throughout the year, Frankton and the surrounding area host various food events and festivals. These events celebrate local and international cuisines, showcasing the talents of local chefs, food vendors, and producers.

Thanks to its convenient location, you can easily explore Hamilton city’s vibrant dining scene and sample a variety of cuisines and culinary experiences.

Things to do in Frankton?

  • Visit SkyCity Hamilton, a popular entertainment complex that offers a range of activities.
  • If you enjoy horse racing, head to Te Rapa Racecourse in Frankton. Check the racing calendar and attend a race day event.
  • The Waikato River runs through Frankton, providing opportunities for outdoor activities.
  • Frankton is home to the New Zealand Warbirds Association and the Classic Flyers Museum. Aviation enthusiasts can explore the museum, view vintage aircraft, and even take joy flights or helicopter rides for a unique experience.
  • Visit Westfield Chartwell, a shopping center located near Frankton. 
  •  Explore nearby parks, reserves, and walking trails. Take a bike ride along the Te Awa River Ride or hike through the Hakarimata Range to enjoy the natural beauty of the region.
  • Take a wine tour, this area is situated close to the Waikato wine region, where you can find a number of vineyards and wineries.
  • Walk the trails of Taitua Arboretum, an impressive collection of old trees.
Scenery view of Lake Rotoroa (or Hamilton Lake Domain) in Hamilton, New Zealand. It has a surface area of about 54 hectares and an average depth of 2.4 metres.

Tamahere – Where to stay in Hamilton like a local

Tamahere is a charming rural community located just outside of Hamilton. If you want to experience local living and immerse yourself in a relaxed countryside atmosphere, then look no further.

Traveling to Tamahere allows you to live like a local by experiencing the rural lifestyle, exploring local produce and markets, enjoying the hospitality of small-town cafes and eateries, and participating in community events.

It’s a chance to connect with the locals, appreciate the natural beauty, and embrace the relaxed atmosphere of the countryside.

Why stay in Tamahere?

Tamahere offers a peaceful and laid-back rural lifestyle that allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, providing various accommodation in the Hamilton area. With its picturesque landscapes, rolling hills, and farmland, you can experience the beauty of New Zealand’s countryside and enjoy a slower pace of living.

This relaxed area has a strong sense of community, and locals often organize various events and activities. Keep an eye out for local festivals, fairs, or gatherings where you can mingle with the residents, learn about their traditions, and experience the local culture.

It’s known for its agricultural activities and local produce, dotted with orchards, farms, and vineyards, where you can find fresh fruits, vegetables, and other farm products. Visit the Tamahere Market, held on the third Saturday of every month, to enjoy a true farmers’ market experience.

Dotted down the lovely streets, you will find quaint cafes, restaurants, and eateries that offer a taste of local flavors. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in a cozy setting, savor homemade baked goods, or try dishes made with locally sourced ingredients.

Around these streets, you will find many talented artisans and craftsmen. Explore their workshops and studios to witness the creation of unique and handcrafted goods. You may find beautiful pottery, art, textiles, woodwork, or other crafts to take home as souvenirs.

Tamahere is surrounded by natural beauty and offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. Take a walk or bike ride along the countryside roads, explore the nearby parks and reserves, or go for a scenic drive through the picturesque landscapes.

While Tamahere itself offers a relaxed rural lifestyle, it is conveniently located near Hamilton City. Allowing you to access the amenities, attractions, and entertainment options available in the city while still enjoying the tranquility of Tamahere. 

Things to do in Tamahere?

  • Visit the Tamahere Country Market, held on the third Saturday of every month for the best local market experience.
  • Pick your own fruits and explore the local orchards and farms.
  • Hike through the Riverglade Drive.
  • Tamahere is home to a few delightful cafes and eateries that offer a taste of local flavors. 
  • Explore Natural Surroundings, like the Tamahere Reserve.
  • Take a Fieldays jet boat transport to Mystery Creek.
  • Visit Local Artisans and Workshops, Tamahere is home to talented artisans and craftsmen. 
  • Visit the Moondance Manor Gardens.
  • Attending any of the local events will give a great opportunity to connect with the community, learn about their customs, and experience the local culture.
  • Take a Scenic Drive through the many picturesque country roads around the area.
Kiwi fruit trained over a pergola in Hamilton gardens. Hamilton New Zealand

Hamilton Airport – Where to stay near Hamilton airport

The area around Hamilton Airport, also known as Hamilton International Airport, offers convenient accommodation options and proximity to the airport itself.

Staying in the area provides convenience, a range of accommodation options, proximity to both the airport and Hamilton City, and access to nearby attractions.

Whether you’re traveling for leisure or business, being close to the airport can streamline your journey and make your stay more convenient and efficient.

Why stay in Hamilton Airport?

Staying close to an airport can sometimes mean a lack in activities and entertainment options but lucky for you this particular airport area is located just outside some of the best areas to stay in Hamilton, along with Hamilton City itself.

Offering an easy access to the city center and surrounding areas. You can take a short drive or utilize public transportation to explore the city’s attractions, dining options, shopping centers, and cultural events. 

There are some accommodation options available in the vicinity of Hamilton Airport, ranging from budget-friendly hotels to upscale establishments.

Staying near Hamilton Airport provides you with the convenience of being just minutes away from your departure or arrival point. This is especially advantageous if you have an early morning flight or a late-night arrival. 

The area surrounding Hamilton Airport is not just limited to the airport itself. Within a short distance, you can find various attractions and activities to enhance your stay that were mentioned within this article.

You constantly find easy access to different transportation options, such as taxis, shuttles, and rental cars. This can make it convenient for you to explore the wider region, including nearby attractions, without having to travel long distances.

Things to do around the Hamilton Airport?

  • Located just a short drive from the airport, Mystery Creek Events Centre is a versatile venue that hosts a variety of events, including trade shows, exhibitions, agricultural shows, and concerts.
  • Situated in the nearby suburb of Rotokauri, Hamilton Zoo is a popular attraction that houses a diverse range of animals from around the world.
  • Enjoy a visit to Narrows Landing, an event venue located just a short distance from Hamilton Airport.
  • If you’re interested in cycling or want to experience a unique sporting facility, head to Avantidrome. It is a world-class indoor velodrome located in Cambridge, which is a short drive from Hamilton Airport.
  • There are numerous parks, trails, and reserves in the region, including the popular Te Awa River Ride and the Hakarimata Range.
  • Stop at the many wineries the Waikato region has to offer, such as Vilagrads Winery, Narrows Bridge Estate, and Mystery Creek Wines.
  • Speed about at the Kartsport Hamilton.
  • If you’re traveling with kids, go check out the Kaipaki Petting Farm.
  • Play some golf at the Tieke Golf Estate.

Best places to stay in Hamilton Airport

Budget accommodation in Hamilton Airport

Family Friendly accommodation in Hamilton Airport

Commercial Air New Zealand airplane grounded

Added Extra: Areas to Avoid in Hamilton

Fairfield has experienced some issues with crime in the past, particularly related to property crimes. 

Melville has had a higher reported rate of property crimes compared to other areas in Hamilton. 

Deanwell has been known for occasional incidents of antisocial behavior and property crimes. 

While the CBD of Hamilton is generally safe during the day, it’s recommended to be cautious in certain areas at night, especially in less populated streets or areas with minimal lighting. 

As with any city, it’s important to exercise common sense and avoid confrontations or situations that may escalate. It’s worth noting that these areas should not deter you from exploring and enjoying the many attractions and amenities that Hamilton has to offer. 

FAQs About accommodation in hamilton new zealand

What are the best places to stay in Hamilton NZ?

Hamilton NZ has a wide range of accommodation options to choose from, including hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, and Airbnb rental units. Depending on your budget and preferences, there’s something for everyone!

For those looking for luxury stays, there’s the Novotel Hamilton Tainui or The Elms Hotel & Spa. Those hoping for a more affordable option can try out the Ibis Hotel Hamilton or the Comfort Inn and Suites. There are also some great Airbnbs like Meka’s Villa or Cottage on Wairere Drive that offer great value for money.

Are there any good family-friendly hotels in Hamilton NZ?

Yes, absolutely! If you’re travelling with family, you should definitely check out The Elms Hotel & Spa; it offers spacious suites and plenty of amenities perfect for families.

Other family-friendly hotels include the Copthorne Hotel Hamilton & Commodore and Base Rotorua – both of which boast outdoor swimming pools and play areas that your kids will love.

Is there anything interesting to do in Hamilton NZ?

Yes! Hamilton is known as one of New Zealand’s premier cities – full of culture, art galleries and museums to explore. Spend a day checking out the Waikato Museum of Art and History or take a stroll along the boardwalk at Hamilton Gardens.

You can also visit one of the city’s many parks like Memorial Park or Urupuia Reserve – ideal spots for picnics or BBQs with friends.

Final Thoughts: places to stay in hamilton new zealand

Hamilton has a wide variety of accommodation to suit all budgets and needs – from luxury apartments to charming B&Bs. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape or an action-packed adventure, you’ll find it in Hamilton!

Why not book your stay now and experience the beauty of Hamilton, New Zealand? So make sure you take some time out to explore the city and its surrounds.

With so much going on and such great places to stay in the city, it’s easy to make your trip one to remember! So don’t delay – book your Hamilton New Zealand getaway today!

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  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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