A beautiful stay at Akito Studio via Airbnb. Photo / Airbnb

Neighbourhood Watch: The Hidden Gems Of Hamilton

From zen gardens to multi-brand shopping excursions, this central gem is coming up

A short distance from Auckland, Hamilton is awaiting exploration, filled with new up-and-coming cafes, boutiques and private accommodation. Take a stroll in the renowned Hamilton Gardens or dine at one of the many culinary delights the city has to offer. Here are some of our favorite picks.

For travel updates on Covid-19 alert level restrictions, please visit Covid19.govt.nz and stay safe.

An Airbnb oasis

Take a breath of fresh air in a home away from home. This stunningly designed Airbnb home, Akitō Studio (pictured above), will leave you feeling at peace and inspired. The Scandinavian-look studio is the perfect place to unwind. Enjoy an alfresco bath while looking out into the native bush, or simply take in the perfectly pared-back interiors. This one-bedroom haven is neatly tucked away in a private, quiet cul-de-sac and is close to some of the more up-and-coming hot spots in Hamilton. Airbnb.co.nz

The Italian Renaissance Garden at the Hamilton Gardens is an idyllic setting. Photo / Hamilton.govt.nz

Hamilton gardens

No trip to Hamilton is complete without a trip to the majestic Hamilton gardens, an excursion that won’t cost you a penny. Take in the beautiful surroundings inspired by different gardens around the world, such as the Italian Renaissance garden, a truly zen Japanese Garden of Contemplation, Indian Char Bagh and more. See our glorious shoot from Viva Magazine – Volume Five, photographed on location at Hamilton Gardens. Hamiltongardens.co.nz

READ: Neighbourhood Watch: Fresh Places To Visit In Mount Maunganui

Zealong Tea Estate

For tea lovers, visit the only commercial tea estate in New Zealand. Take a tour of the grounds that produce 100 per cent organic tea and learn the history of the Zealong story. Dine in the divine tea-house setting with serene views, a tasteful and enriching day full of tea-time. Zealong.com

Winner Winner

A chicken shop with a twist. Dine here with ease and you won't leave hungry. Founded in Hamilton in 2016, they now have four restaurants across the North Island. Featuring an array of uncomplicated chicken dishes like fried chicken, burgers, salads and loaded fries, there is something for everyone – vegetarian and vegan included. Winnerwinner.co.nz

Chim Choo Ree

If fine dining is more your thing, look no further than Anzac Parade's Chim Choo Ree. Located in the historic brewery building, the Asian-fusion restaurant boasts an array of exquisite dishes (think beef tartare with soy mirin caviar or rack of lamb with smoked feta and black garlic jus). Chimchooree.co.nz


Dinner with a view. The Gothenburg restaurant, cafe and bar is situated along the Waikato River banks with floor-to-ceiling windows. Would you believe that this place is in the CBD? The tapas-style menu is suited for both casual and occasion dining, and for carnivores and vegetarians alike. Gothenburg.co.nz

Sentinel cafe

The stunning design of Sentinel is fresh and inviting. The cafe also accommodates meetings, with rooms available on request. An extensive breakfast or brunch menu allows for any craving, be it a classic big English breakfast or an overnight chia breakfast bowl. Sentinelcafe.nz

READ: Great Escape: Discover A Hidden Bay Of Islands Getaway


A serene multi-brand concept store in the heart of Hamilton city. True hosts a range of New Zealand labels such as Baina, Caitlin Crisp, Harris Tapper and international names like denim favourites Agolde and Mother. True also has a range of homeware selections along with a menswear offering. Truestore.co.nz

Sisters On London

Developed by two sisters, this fashion store boasts an eclectic range of renowned New Zealand and Australian designers, from Karen Walker to Deadly Ponies, Zimmermann and Shona Joy. Sistersonlondon.co.nz

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