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The Waikato Region’s Tourism Sector


Waikato has a broad, diverse and thriving tourism sector. There is a wide array of attractions to satisfy visitors from around New Zealand and abroad.

Tourism in the Waikato

From stunning white sand beaches to intricate underground caves and everything in between, Waikato Tourism truly has it all.  

The region is blessed with incredible natural attractions that are easy to access. Raglan’s renowned surf, Taupō’s geothermal wonders, the iconic Hobbiton and Waitomo’s unique caves are all attractions in their own right, and to have them all within a few hours’ drive of each other is remarkable. 

Hamilton tourism is showing strong signs of growth also, with gardens, shopping and a popular nightlife scene making it the perfect base to explore the region from. 

For the thrill seekers, the region is host to a range of adventure activities like bungee jumping and world-class mountain biking. Waikato is a destination that has something for everyone.  

Why Waikato?

With so much variety on offer, Waikato attracts tourists with all sorts of motivations and interests. Each of Waikato’s attractions is a tourism asset in its own right, and the combination of so many within such a close proximity is what makes the sector so strong. 

Globally, an increasing number of tourists are seeking out unique cultural and natural experiences. With beaches, bush, caves, lakes and hills, Waikato’s landscape is prime for all manner of outdoor activities.  

Its rich history as a stronghold of Māori culture, together with focused Māori tourism ventures, allow Waikato to offer an indigenous cultural experience like no other. 

As Waikato gets more and more connected to the rest of New Zealand, it becomes much easier for tourists to access the region. Waikato tourism is poised to surge even more into the consciousness of both domestic and international visitors in the years to come.

Regional Tourism Organisations in the Waikato

The Waikato has three regional tourism organisations, Hamilton & Waikato Tourism,  Destination Hauraki Coromandel, and Love Taupō that promote local tourism activities. They highlight the best of what each district has to offer, from restaurant and accommodation recommendations to upcoming events and tips for mapping out your itinerary. The websites are host to a wealth of information and contain everything you need to know to plan your next visit.

Workforce & Training

Get in touch with the training providers below that offer specialised training for the Tourism industry. Explore opportunities to upskill your staff and connect with students to build your talent pipeline.

Local Training Providers

Sector Initiatives

  • Gateway programmes are for secondary school students who want to explore job options while studying towards NCEA. They facilitate work-based learning opportunities for students, offering a vocational education pathway by providing hands-on experience in a real-world setting.

  • Smart Waikato partners with local businesses to deliver a range of practical and innovative initiatives that support rangatahi transitioning from education to employment. 

Further Resources

The insights from the Waikato Business Sentiment Survey play a crucial role in shaping our strategic focus and advocacy efforts and enable our team to understand and support business owners, employees and investors at sector and district levels.



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