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Check-in on our New Zealand travel blog for latest news, events and updates - along with a splash of personality from the whole team at Bella Vista!  


Gisborne’s must-see attractions

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When you visit a new city, it’s only natural to want to make the most of your time by seeing and doing as much as possible. To save you hours of searching the internet and scrolling through endless reviews, we’ve pulled together some of the most popular things to do in Gisborne in this handy list. It includes the main Gisborne tourist attractions so that you can rest assured that you’ll be experiencing all the very best highlights of our beautiful seaside city.

Gisborne Railbike Adventure
People land in Gisborne from all over New Zealand to experience the Railbike Adventure. Grab a friend, jump aboard a side-by-side tandem bike and cruise along the old rail tracks to see the countryside in a whole new way. Tours range from a quick one hour ride across the Waipaoa Bridge to a three and a half hour trip through the tiny coastal communities on the Mahia Peninsula. You can choose a standard bike which requires a reasonable amount of pedal power or opt for an e-bike to give you some welcome assistance. This is one of the top Gisborne attractions when it comes to outdoor activities, so make sure you put this one on your list!


Tatapouri Reef Stingrays
Keen on seeing a stingray up close and in the wild? Just 15 minutes out of Gisborne City is Tatapouri, where expert guides are on hand to help you interact safely with Wild Short Tail Stingrays, Eagle Rays and other reef creatures in their natural habitat. The reef ecology tour will take you over the reef in waders at low tide to stand among the incredible marine life as guides tell you all about the species you encounter. Bookings are essential and tour times are dependent on tides. This stingray experience is one of the most highly recommended Gisborne tourist attractions so make sure you make book early to avoid disappointment!

Sunrise tour at Maunga Hikurangi
If experiencing a Gisborne sunrise is on your radar, there’s no better place to do it than atop Hikurangi. You’ll jump in a four-wheel drive before dawn to climb to the top of the mountain and visit a sacred site of M?ori significance. See the sunrise over nine legendary M?ori carvings sitting high atop the hill and learn all about the incredible history of the carvings and the surrounding area. The tours are taken by Ngati Porou guides and include participation in a karakia—a traditional M?ori blessing. A light breakfast is included and you’ll receive a gift from the Ngati Porou tribe to remember your experience by. This is truly one of the most memorable and unique things to do in Gisborne.


Visit the award-winning wineries
Gisborne produces some of the country’s best chardonnay and pinot noir, and our wineries are one of our top Gisborne attractions… So a visit wouldn’t be complete without taking yourself on a little winery tour! Bushmere Estate offers beautiful outdoor space and mouth-watering degustation menus, Poverty Bay Wines has an award-winning cellar door and Matawhero Wines has a long, interesting history and a Gewürztramineryou simply must try! Most of the wineries are within a 15-minute drive from our Gisborne motel, or you can cycle your way around the wineries if you want to break up your visits with a bit of fresh air.

Waikanae Beach
We couldn’t leave a beach trip off our list! Waikanae Beach is one of Gisborne’s best tourist attractions and popular with the locals too. Stroll along the sand, set up for a day of swimming and sunbathing or have a go at surfing if you want to try something new. Waikanae beach is only a five-minute drive or a half hour walk from our Gisborne motel and we’re happy to point you in the right direction – just pop in to reception and ask!

The four best free things to do in Gisborne

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Our beautiful spot on the East Cape of New Zealand’s North Island means we’re surrounded by gorgeous beaches and natural landscapes. So we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to free things to do in Gisborne. In fact, we happen to think  that some of the very best activities in Gisborne come at no cost! Just bring yourselves, some basic supplies and a sense of adventure.


Watch the sunrise
The East Cape is the first place in the world to see the sun, so it’s only natural that topping our list of the best free things to do in Gisborne is watching the sunrise. Get up early and make your way to one of the many vantage points around the city. We recommend making your way up Kaiti Hill / Titirangi where you’ll see the sunrise over the harbour and bay or driving up to the beautiful Wainui Beach, just six kilometres north of city. Being one of the first people in the world to see the sunrise is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most, so don’t miss it! Make sure you look up the sunrise time in advance and get there when it’s still dark to get the full experience.



Rere Rockslide
If you’re visiting in the summer months (or you’ve got a high tolerance to cold temps) make sure you try out the Rere Rockslide! The 60-metre natural rockslide is a whole lot of fun and one of the best activities in Gisborne for adventure-lovers. All you need is something to slide down on like a bodyboard, a yoga mat or a tyre tube. You’ll rush down the slippery slope, bumping and sliding your way to the bottom before tumbling into the pool of water at the end. The Rere Rockslide is about 45 minutes from the city, so make sure you have a few turns while you’re there! Just keep an eye out for any water quality warnings on the council website before you go. If e.coli is present, you’ll want to give it a miss.


Tolaga Bay Wharf
At 660 metres, Tolaga Bay Wharf is New Zealand’s longest. Stretching far out over the bay, the wharf is surrounded by blue waters and rocky cliffs. A visit to the wharf is a great idea if you’re looking for easy Gisborne walks where you can snap some beautiful pictures and perhaps have a quick dip while you’re there. Many people who visit the wharf simply enjoy perching at one of the picnic tables and enjoying a bite to eat in the fresh sea air. It’s also a popular fishing spot, so drop in a line if you have a rod handy… You never know your luck!



Eastwoodhill Arboretum
If you’re not sure what an arboretum is, it’s a botanical garden devoted to trees. And Eastwoodhill is New Zealand’s national arboretum. Situated a half hour drive away from our Gisborne motel, it’s well worth a visit if you’re seeking free things to do in Gisborne. Many of the best Gisborne walks can be found here. Simply stroll around the 131-hectare property at your leisure or follow one of the many trails. A popular walk is the climb up Mt Arateitei which offers incredible views of the arboretum from above as well as the landscape that surrounds.


The best places to eat in Gisborne for all occasions

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Gisborne may be best known for its wines but the restaurants here also get rave reviews. Whether you’re visiting our coastal city for a special celebration or you’re a surfer seeking out brunch after a big morning catching waves, there are some amazing places to eat in Gisborne. We’ve rounded up some of our top picks to help you out if you’re searching for the best restaurants in Gisborne.


USSCO Bar & Restaurant
USSCO is named after the historic building in which is sits, the Union Steam Ship Company building. The riverside venue has a rustic feel with whitewashed brick, high ceilings and dark leather chairs; brightened up with fun pops of colour from the vivid red door to the restaurant’s neon octopus logo that takes pride of place beside the bar. USSCO’s dishes can be shared if desired and some have an Asian influence. Popular options include the Vietnamese pancakes with cashew aioli and roasted duck, the spicy beef biryani and the brioche-crusted Tarakihi. Most of the ingredients are locally sourced and the fresh fish could not be fresher – it comes straight from the Gisborne wharf just 200 metres away. You’ll need to book at USSCO too—it’s one of the best restaurants in Gisborne for good reason!


Flagship Eatery
Right next to USSCO and only a five-minute drive from our Gisborne motel is Flagship Eatery, one of the best places to eat in Gisborne if breakfast is your favourite meal of the day. The casual yet classy restaurant is open for breakfast daily and does a roaring trade. To satisfy the sweet tooth there’s buckwheat pancakes with coconut flavoured yoghurt, seasonal fruit and a white chocolate crumb; or if you’re more of a savoury fan, try the rancheros baked eggs with cannellini beans, chorizo and hollandaise. Flagship Eatery doesn’t take bookings so just show up when hunger strikes. If you do have to wait for a table, we promise it’ll be worth it!


On its website, Portofino says that it “accentuates the European passion and love of fresh and tasty food.” So if you want to feel as though you’ve teleported directly to a beautiful restaurant in Venice, Portofino is the place for you. There are Portofino restaurants scattered across the North Island, but you’d be hard pressed to find one with as many five-star reviews as Portofino Gisborne. Guests rave about the flavoursome dishes, the generous portions and the five-star service. It’s a great place to go if you’re looking for Gisborne things to do with children too—the kids menu caters well to little people with simple yet tasty pizzas and wholesome classics like spaghetti bolognese. And don’t forget the gelato for dessert!


Crawford Road Kitchen
Crawford Road Kitchen is one of those trusty places to eat in Gisborne that you can rely on for a great meal at almost any time of day (just not on a Sunday or a Monday!) Located at the Gisborne Wine Centre with views over the harbour, Crawford Road Kitchen is a great option if you’re looking for Gisborne things to do where you can simply sit and relax. The venue offers wine tasting, making it one of the best restaurants in Gisborne if you want to pair your tasty meal with a refreshing local drop. It can get busy here for lunch and later in the day, so bookings are highly recommended!

The ultimate family day out in Napier

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There are loads of fun things to do in Napier, so it’s not hard to fill in a day here with kids in tow! Whether your children are old or young, into sports, swimming, animals or adventure, there is something for them all. We’ve put together a little itinerary for the ultimate fun day out, full of things to do in Napier for families.

Take a morning bike ride
If your kids are younger, they’ll love a play at the Marine Parade Junior Bike Track. The track is laid out like a miniature road with pedestrian crossings, traffic lights, roundabouts and give way signs – a great way to start learning about road rules and safety. The bike track is fenced off from the real road so it’s safe for your children to explore. And it’s not just kids on bikes that are welcome—scooters and roller skates can be found here too! For things to do in Napier for families who have older children, take a bike ride along the water instead. You can hire bikes on Marine Parade—just a five minute walk from our Napier motel—and take off on a 4km ride to the seaside village of Ahuriri. Or just cruise along Marine Parade and take in all the sights!

Arataki Honey Visitor Centre
There’s definitely lots in Napier to do, but some of the best family activities are located just a short drive away. We suggest following your morning bike ride with a 20-minute drive down to Havelock North to the Arataki Honey Visitor Centre. Here, kids will have the opportunity to see bees upo close, to learn about the honey-making process, and to dress up as a beekeeper! Lots of the children’s activities are very hands-on and they’ll even have the chance to taste some fresh and delicious honey.



Splash planet
If you’ve already searched for fun things to do in Napier, we’re sure that Splash Planet must be on your radar! The popular water park is located in Hastings, just a 10-minute drive from Arataki Honey. It’s has several water slides, a wave pool, lazy river and bumper boats, a train, a playground and so much more! It’s only open between November and March and sometimes only on weekends though—so make sure you check this before you arrive!


Silky Oak Chocolate Company
We’re betting you’re already pretty popular in the kids’ books by now, but why not go all out and put the icing on the cake stay with a visit to Silky Oak Chocolate Company? This is one of the best things in Napier to do for those with a sweet tooth – the store stocks a delicious selection of locally handmade chocolates, fudges and other tasty treats! Park up at the café for extreme chocolate drinks all round, then browse the store and take your pick from chocolate coated hoke pokey, coconut rough, chocolate coated marshmallow log or dozens of other mouth-watering delight. And if someone in the family is more of a savoury fan there’s also a range of chutneys, pickles and oils to check out. What a way to end the ultimate family day Napier!


Art and culture in Napier

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If you’re planning a visit to Napier (or perhaps you’re already here) you probably already know that it’s the art deco capital of New Zealand. So it makes perfect sense that you’ll find a fair bit of art and culture in Napier that’s unique to our fair city. That’s right – we’re not ALL about the wineries (although we do love them too!) – some of the most memorable Napier tourist attractions are all about discovering stories, creativity and imagination.

Take an art deco tour of Napier
Sources tell us that Napier has the highest concentration of art deco buildings anywhere in the world. Characterised by strong symmetry and clean, bold geometric shapes; art deco buildings are striking to look at and absolutely bursting with character. One of the most popular activities in Napier for art and culture enthusiasts are our art deco tours. You’ll join a friendly and knowledgeable tour guide who will take you around the inner-city’s art deco highlights and reveal the fascinating history of the charming Napier tourist attractions. Either stroll down from our Napier motel to join a walking tour or, for a real leap back in time, see the highlights in an open top vintage car. Finish up your tour at the Art Deco Trust Centre where you’ll find a range of goodies and gifts to purchase and take home.


Visit Napier’s Boyd-Dunlop Gallery
You haven’t experienced art and culture in Napier without a visit to the Boyd-Dunlop Gallery. The gallery specialises in contemporary New Zealand art and is absolutely bursting with colour, life and creativity. Artworks include intricate floral compositions, contemporary pop, realist painting, lost-wax casting and so much more. Visitors can purchase artwork to take home or simply enjoy marvelling at the skill and imagination on display throughout the fantastic inner-cty gallery. Artworks are rotated regularly so there’s always something new to discover at this Napier tourist attraction.


Join a workshop at Creative Arts Napier
If you fancy yourself an artsy type and you’re looking for creative activities in Napier, book yourself in for a workshop at Creative Arts Napier. The community arts centre runs workshops on a huge range of skills and hobbies from sewing to photography, weaving to print-making. They also host some great one-off events like open-mic poetry evenings and mesmerising musical performances—a great way to experience art and culture in Napier. And while you’re there, you can browse the locally-made arts and crafts and tick off your Christmas shopping early!



Visit Otatara Pa Historic Reserve
A 20-minute drive from our Napier motel is one of the best activities in Napier for those wanting to learn about the local history and culture. Otatara Historic Reserve is one of the largest and oldest Maori Pa sites in the Hawke’s Bay region. Visitors to the historical site are welcome to walk around and discover the precious remains, consisting of terraces, dwelling sites and food storage pits. The Reserve is located near the Tutaekuri River and is almost 58 hectares in size, so there is plenty of land to explore. To get the most out of your visit, book a tour with Napier Maori Tours. This way, you’ll hear all about the history and stories of the site and its significance to Maori culture.



See something new at Napier Municipal Theatre
If you’re looking for evening activities in Napier for a date night or a special occasion, why not catch a concert, play or a performance at the Municipal Theatre – the ‘go-to’ place for performing arts in Napier. The venue presents a range of shows—plays, ballet, opera, orchestra, comedy, drama, dance and more. And the gorgeous art deco venue is only a ten-minute walk from our Napier motel, so you can leave the car behind.

The four best things to do in winter in Napier

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Napier is a beautiful part of New Zealand to visit at any time of year. In summer, the warm and dry weather has people flocking to our local beaches, enjoying icecreams by the sea and cruising the long, winding coastal cycling trails. But there’s plenty to do in winter in Napier too! If you’re looking for a New Zealand destination for a winter getaway, give Napier a try! Let this list of Napier attractions guide you as you plan for your Napier escape.

Warm up at a winery
Our wonderful city is surrounded by some of New Zealand’s best wineries. People flock here from all over to enjoy the region’s finest drops, and our wineries here have some serious character. So which are the best wineries to visit during winter in Napier? To get you started there’s Mission Estate, the country’s oldest winery; the Urban Winery, conveniently located less than ten minutes drive from our Napier motel; and Elephant Hill, with its floor to ceiling windows framing a simply stunning view.  And if you’re looking for places to visit in Napier where you can stay cosy for a few hours and enjoy a beautiful meal, we highly recommend Craggy Range. The restaurant is warm with a modern, luxe feel and the food is fresh and delicious. There are fireplaces in the courtyard, the living room and the library too, so no matter your choice of wine-tasting setting, you’re sure to be nice and toasty.

Visit the National Aquarium of NZ
Who doesn’t love watching penguins, sharks and other sea creatures go about their daily business? The aquarium is one of our most popular Napier attractions and a great place to spend some time indoors on a wild and wintry day. Just a ten-minute walk from our Napier motel, the aquarium is open from 9am until 5pm daily. There’s reef fish feeding to see at 10am, little penguin feeding sessions at 9.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm, and shark feeding at 2pm. You can even hand-feed a little penguin if you book in advance! There’s a cafe on site so you can grab a coffee while you’re there, and a gift shop stocked full of souvenirs to remember your fun-filled holiday in winter in Napier.


Go on a bush walk to a waterfall
Don’t let a bit of frost or a sprinkling of rain keep you indoors the whole time. During winter in Napier after a bit of rain the waterfalls are in their prime, so we suggest you rug up and get out for a hike! Rumour has it that Shine Falls is the region’s most spectacular waterfall, but you’ll need to have a few hours up your sleeve to see it for yourself. The drive from Napier takes an hour and the return walk about an hour and half—but we promise the experience will be worth it! The waterfall stands at an impressive 58 metres high and the route there and back is full of other scenic wonders, so make sure you pack your camera!

Visit Ocean Spa hot pools
Is there any better feeling than easing into a steamy hot pool on a chilly winter’s day? We certainly don’t think so! Ocean Spa is just a ten-minute walk from our Napier motel and one of the best places to visit in Napier whether you’re travelling solo or with kids in tow. The outdoor pools at the popular Napier attraction have fantastic views of the ocean and are shielded by a glass fence to keep out the cold wind. One of the great things about Ocean Spa is that it’s open until 10.00pm, so you can even cruise down for a post-dinner dip underneath the stars.


Hamilton’s top restaurants for every occasion

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If you’re looking for great places to eat, Hamilton has plenty of options. But we know that trawling through website reviews can be tiresome. Maybe you’re looking for something for a specific budget, a special occasion or you’ve got a hankering for a delicious buffet! Whatever it is you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered.

For the special occasion
Do yourself a huge favour and pay a visit to Gothenburg or Palate. You’ll experience exquisite food, beautiful views and delightful service in these Hamilton restaurants. Best to book in advance too, they’re popular and can book out on the weekends!


For the best cheap eats in Hamilton
There are lots of good contenders for the best cheap eats in Hamilton, and your preference might just depend on your preferred cuisine. But Hamilton cheap eats, we don’t think you can go past Dumpling House. It’s quick, delicious and won’t break the bank!


For the best Asian cuisine in Hamilton
If you’ve got a hankering for some Chinese food, try Sichuan Style on Collingwood Street. As with many Asian restaurants, the menu is extensive and caters well to vegetarians. Popular dishes include the pork Sichuan dumplings, steamed buns and handmade noodles.

For the best burgers in Hamilton
Sometimes you just need a big, juicy, delicious burger to fill you up and a cold beer on the side. Burger Bro in the city is the only licensed burger joint in Hamilton and on Thursdays you’ll get both burger and a beer for just $20, offering Hamilton cheap eats at great value for money. This little Victoria Street eatery is hard to miss—just look for the orange façade!

For the best pub meal in Hamilton
We’re lucky enough to have a Speights Ale House just ten minutes walk from our Hamilton motel, and we often send hungry guests there when they’re looking for a hearty meal and a relaxed vibe. It’s just by Waikato Stadium too, so ideal if you’re attending an event! A great choice if you want something to eat in Hamilton where you know there will be all your favourites on the menu.

For the best high tea in Hamilton
Zealong Tea Estate is in Gordonton, just outside of Hamilton, and is renowned for its high tea experiences. Gather a group together and venture out for selection of tasty treats served among out on the patio overlooking the gardens. And if you’re a tea fan, you can even take a tea tour while you’re out there.

For the best takeaways in Hamilton
If you’re looking for the fastest and best cheap eats in Hamilton that you can take away to enjoy, look no further than Oxford Takeaways. The fresh is fish, the chips crisp and salty and the meal packs are great value if you have a family to feed.

The best eateries in Hamilton for breakfast, lunch and dinner

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Breakfast / Brunch: THE KIRK CAFE. 6 Te Aroha Street, Hamilton
Take one quick look at the Instagram grid for The Kirk Café and you’ll be straight on the phone to make a booking! The Kirk is known for its impressive presentation, serving up creative and colourful dishes that look like they belong firmly in the pages of a food magazine. Described as the ‘best little gourmet café and brunch spot in Hamilton’, The Kirk Café is open from 8.00am until 2.30pm from Monday to Saturday and opens at a leisurely 9.30am on Sundays to cater to the later risers. With a welcoming interior and a gorgeous sunny outdoor area for warm and bright mornings, The Kirk café is one of the many nice places to eat in Hamilton within walking distance from our motel, and a lovely spot to begin your day.

On the menu are options for healthy and not-so-healthy dishes. They cater to keto diets, gluten free diets and diets that are yet to begin. The sticky fried chicken eggs benedict is a popular choice—but you’ll have to get there early to lock it in. Because it’s always in hot demand and when it’s gone, it’s gone! For something lighter, there’s a delicious superfood vegan granola or eggs with your choice of sides. No matter whether you’re after sweet or savoury, The Kirk Café has something delicious to offer. Make sure you take your phone too – Instagram awaits!



Lunch: GOTHERNBURG. 17 Grantham Street, Hamilton
Looking for lunch restaurants in Hamilton for a special occasion, a birthday surprise or just because you deserve a fantastic meal with impeccable service to boot? You won’t be disappointed with Gothenburg—it’s the highest rated Hamilton restaurant on Tripadvisor and the reviews are what restaurateur dreams are made of. Located in central Hamilton overlooking the Waikato River, Gothenburg has a beautiful dining room with floor to ceiling windows. Gothenburg is fabulous for dinner too, but during the day it has such a beautiful outlook that it’s a tier above other lunch restaurants in Hamilton.

Gothenburg has an extensive tapas menu, evenly split into vegetable tapas, meat and poultry tapas and seafood tapas. There is a huge range and we can tell you now that you’re likely to have a tough time choosing! Some of the options include spicy Kim Chi and pork dumplings, a brioche crayfish roll and sundried tomato and mozzarella arancini. And if you’ve got room, the dessert and cheese menus will be the icing on the cake of your Gothenburg experience.


Dinner: PALATE. 20 Alma Street, Hamilton
If you have an anniversary or a birthday coming up and you’re looking for Hamilton dinner places that offer something special, jump on the Palate website and make your booking now. There’s a seven course degustation menu with matching wines, and if you choose this experience you’ll get VIP where you can see the talented team at work. Otherwise, the a la carte menu offers two courses for $60 or three courses for $75—a very reasonable price for the outstanding quality of the dishes.

The Palate experience is all about top quality food and wine. All the staff are passionate about what they do and this becomes clear from the minute you step through the door. Palate has won multiple awards since it was established in 2005 and has become a bit of a Hamilton institution… Hamilton dinner places don’t come much better than this!


Hamilton’s top four hikes

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Hiking is incredibly popular here in New Zealand, and we often have visitors staying at our Hamilton motel who make it their mission to complete at least one hike in every city or town they visit. While our city is relatively flat, we’ve got plenty of great hikes to try out in the hills and countryside that surrounds. Here, we’ve rounded up the top five best hikes near Hamilton based on popularity, accessibility and reviews from our guests.

Hakarimata Summit Track
This hike kicks off in the outskirts of Ngaruawahia, about 25 minutes away from our Hamilton motel. While the Department of Conservation calls it an ‘easy’ track, it’s worth keeping in mind that the summit is 335 metres high and there are 1349 steps to climb. But if you’ve got a moderate level of fitness and are keen to try out hikes around Hamilton, please don’t let the steps put you off! Rumour has it that some people even run the track for fun. When you reach the top after about one and a half to two hours, you’ll be rewarded with fantastic views across the Waikato Basin and all the way down to Mt Ruapehu on a clear day. The Hakarimata Summit Track is a must if you’ve got a few hours spare and are after cheap things to do in Hamilton.


Nikau Walk, Kaniwhaniwha
The Nikau walk can be found near the small township of Pirongia. From our Hamilton motel, you’ll drive for half an hour on State Highway 3 and then Te Pahi Road until you reach the Pirongia Forest Park / Kaniwhaniwha Reserve. The Nikau Track is a three-hour return walk and there are lots of highlights to enjoy. It’s a great choice for hikes around Hamilton that come with a side of adventure—the Kaniwhaniwha Caves are located near the start of the Bell Track, 5 minutes from the junction with the Nikau Walk, so take a torch and explore them while you’re here. On your seven-kilometre walk, you’ll follow a trickling stream around a loop surrounded by lush green with nikau palms, ferns and plenty of birdlife.


Wairere Falls, Okauia
It’s a bit of a drive out to Okauia—just under an hour to be exact—but it’s worth the trip if you love a good waterfall! Wairere Falls is actually the highest waterfall in the North Island, sitting at 153 metres high. The walk to the viewing platform at the base of the falls take around an hour and a half, but it’s a lovely walk through the cool bush and over little wooden bridges. If you’ve still got energy when you arrive at the base, you can spend another 30-45 minutes climbing to the top of the falls which will give you epic views over the valley and the Waikato Plains.



Hamilton Lake Domain
Ok, so it doesn’t strictly fall under the best hikes near Hamilton, but Hamilton Lake Domain is still a great place for a long, leisurely walk in the fresh air. It’s perfect if you have kids, a pram or require a smooth and flat surface for wheelchair access. The path around Hamilton Lake Domain is almost four kilometres long and you’ll enjoy watching the birdlife in the area including ducks, Pukeko and geese. If you’re there are the right time, you might even be lucky enough to see little ducklings or goslings on the lake. Cheap things to do in Hamilton don’t come much better than this!



New Plymouth’s top attractions

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When staying in a new city, especially for just a short time, it’s well worth researching the most
popular attractions to make sure you get the best out of your visit. Our list of the four must-do
things to do in New Plymouth has something that will appeal to everyone - couples, families with
children and those travelling solo…

Mt Taranaki
As far as New Plymouth attractions go, Mt Taranaki has to be at the top of the list! For those who
are used to seeing mountains as part of a group or within huge stretches of alps, the conical Mt
Taranaki standing solo near the coast almost looks surreal. Ski season on Mt Taranaki is at
Manganui ski field from around June to October—and at only $50 per person it’s among the
cheapest in the country. And if you’re looking for places to visit in New Plymouth outside of these
months, Mt Taranaki and the surrounding Mt Egmont National Park still have plenty to offer…
Stroll through the lush Pukeiti Gardens, chase nearby waterfalls and explore more hiking tracks
than you can shake a walking pole at.

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre
You can’t drive past the building that houses the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Len Lye Centre
without doing a double-take, but there’s so much more to be seen inside. Behind the shimmering
mirrored façade lies a collection of contemporary art including film, sculpture, painting and
photography. An entire wing is dedicated to the work of local artist Len Lye—the legend behind the
famous Wind Wand on the Coastal Walkway. The major exhibitions change out every four months,
so it’s one of those things to do in New Plymouth that you can experience more than once and
enjoy something new and different every time. Bonus: It’s just a couple of doors down from our
New Plymouth motel!

Todd Energy Aquatic Centre
The Todd Energy Aquatic Centre is one of the best places to visit in New Plymouth if you have
children or you’re looking something to do on a rainy day. Kids will have hours of fun zooming
down the hydroslides and frolicking in the wave pool. There are also inflatable toys, tarzan ropes
and a toddler pool indoors—and a diving board, picnic areas and a playground outside. When
you’ve had enough of swimming, relax in the spa pool or hit the sauna for a good sweat session.
And if you really want to burn some energy, you can leave the car behind… The Todd Energy
Aquatic Centre is only a ten-minute walk from our New Plymouth motel.

Brooklands Zoo
Looking for more New Plymouth attractions that cater to children? Well, what child (or adult)
doesn’t love watching cute animals go about their daily business? The animals at Brooklands Zoo
are mainly of the lovable and furry variety.. Think meerkats, squirrel monkeys and friendly
farmyard animals. There’s also a playground on site and a delicious ice cream shop to sustain you
as you browse the exhibits. Entry to the zoo is free but if you can make a donation, you’d be
supporting a very good cause! The Zoo rehabilitates injured or orphaned native and protected
birds and has on-site breeding programmes for their cotton-top tamarins and capuchin monkeys.