Hamilton, located in the North Island of New Zealand, is a fast growing metropolitan city and is the fourth most populous urban area in the country. It is the main city in the Waikato region and is centrally located on the banks of the mighty Waikato River, making it a popular tourist destination. With a wealth of protected parkland, ancient volcanic ranges and some of the best nature activities and underground adventure activities, the city has something for everyone. Hamilton is the fourth largest city and is one of the most multicultural cities in New Zealand. It is home to a sizeable Muslim population and therefore Muslim tourists will be able to find Halal restaurants and mosques in Hamilton.
The best way to see and experience the city of Hamilton is either by foot or on bike. Famously know as a cycling hub, the city offers many trails around the city. A trip to Hamilton is not complete without a few days of exploration by bike. The landscape of Hamilton was formed by the eruption of Taupo Volcano, which sent waves of debris northward and changed the path of the Waikato River to its current path. The terrain of the city is relatively flat with the exception of its many low hills, making it perfect for trekking. The majestic Waikato River is the longest river in New Zealand and it winds its way through the region, offering tourists and locals many activities to choose from. Few of the popular activities available include; trout fishing, boating and kayaking, which allow visitors to see the city scape from a different angle.
Many of the city's venues and attractions are located on the old Town Belt, including Hamilton Gardens, Waikato Stadium, Seddon Park and Hamilton Lake Domain. Travelers could also visit the mystical world of Waitomo and explore its caves and surrounding area. Situated an hour south of Hamilton, it is a land of contrasts, where the areas natural wonders can be found below the surface as native bush and rolling hills give way to limestone caves. World renowned and a magnet for both local and overseas visitors, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a must-visit site in New Zealand. Visitor can also enjoy the world famous boat ride under thousands of magical glow worms with an expert guide’s commentary on the caves history and its geological significance. Those more adventurous might want to try some of the adventure activities such as abseiling, climbing, cave exploration and black water rafting. The regions caves provide a playground like no other, with its many activities on offer. Above ground, visitors can enjoy its cafes, horse treks and even visit the Marokopa Falls and the Mangapohue Natural Bridge.
For a more relaxing holiday, travelers could play a game of golf on one of the many golf courses spread around Hamilton. Hamilton’s rich cultural mix and vibrant center makes it a perfect place to experience the kiwi lifestyle. It is a hub for creativity and innovation as well as a destination for world class international and local events. Some of the popular events held in Hamilton include the Waikato hot air balloon festival and it is also becoming a venue for motor sport events. Arts and culture form an important part of Hamilton, with the museum paying homage to the past and present of the city. Hamilton Central on the Waikato River is a bustling retail precinct and is home to some of the country’s best fashion designers. Travelers interested in shopping, should visit The Base; New Zealands second largest shopping centre and one of the most visited in the country. Travelers can also visit the city's many boutiques and art and craft stores. Due to its central location, the city of Hamilton acts like a gateway, where travelers use the city as a base and visit other areas in the Waikato region.
The closest major airport to Hamilton is Hamilton International Airport, which is also the fourth largest airport in New Zealand. The airport is located 13 kilometres from the center of Hamilton and houses an international and domestic terminal within its premises. The airport services the greater Waikato region and is approximately 20 minutes south of Hamilton. Transport options available for visitors to get to their destination include the shuttle, taxi and car rental.
As the city is home to a sizeable Muslim population there are quite a few restaurants serving Halal food in Hamilton. Most of these restaurants are either Muslim owned or buy their meat from Halal certified butchers. Muslim visitors must be warned that some of these restaurants do serve alcohol. It is best if Muslim tourists can make inquiries at the mosque. Sultans Kitchen, Curry Pot South Indian Restaurant and Babaganush are all restaurants said to serve halal food. With a diverse range of restaurants offering a variety of cuisines such as Indian, Sri Lankan, Middle Eastern and Turkish, there are quite a few options for Muslim travelers.
Due to its sizeable Muslim community, there are a few mosques in Hamilton. The mosques that serve the locals and can be used by visiting Muslims, include; Jamii Masjid and the Hamilton West Islamic Centre. The University of Waikato has separate prayer rooms for males and females.