All-Weather and Indoor Activities in Hamilton – Perfect for a Rainy Day!
Just because the rain is pouring doesn’t mean the fun has to end in Hamilton. In fact, with so many indoor attractions throughout the city, it’s encouraged to do the experiences we list in these “things to do in Hamilton on a rainy day” whatever the weather! So strap on the climbing gear, tie up the bowling shoes, or head down to the river for a cruise, because these all-weather activities in Hamilton are waiting.
And if the weather clears up, be sure to have the 16 Best Things to Do in Hamilton at the ready.
1. Play Bowling or Casino Games at SkyCity Hamilton
There’s something for everyone at SkyCity Hamilton. Not just a 24-hour casino, SkyCity Hamilton has a tenpin bowling alley, pool tables, arcade games and a selection of bars and restaurants. Challenge the family at a game of bowling in between checking out the views of the Waikato River from the outside deck and indulging in gourmet burgers at Eat Burger. Or those over the age of 20 can take on the table games and slot machines of the casino complete with a VIP area, bar and more.
Location: 346 Victoria Street, Hamilton city centre.
2. Learn Something New at the Waikato Museum
An easy go-to on a rainy day, the Waikato Museum is located in the city centre. Check out the array of Maori and early European settler artefacts and learn something new in their ever-changing exhibitions and art displays. The bulk of the museum is free to look around, while some exhibitions have a small entry fee. See more activities like this in the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Hamilton.
Location: 1 Grantham Street, Hamilton city centre.
3. Play Mini Golf, Laser Tag or Do an Escape Room
Get your mates or the family together and head to the Lilliputt Fun Zone at Centre Place. The indoor entertainment has an exciting selection of activities to enjoy together. Do some mini golf at the Ice Age-themed 18-hole course or shoot each other in a laser tag mission. There’s a virtual reality experience to try out, as well as several escape rooms where you need to solve the puzzle to escape a room within a given time limit.
Location: Level 1, Centre Place, Victoria Street, Hamilton city centre.
4. Tour a Craft Brewery
If you’re a bit of a foodie, be sure to try some New Zealand craft beer and a meal at Good George Brewing. Better yet, join them on a brewery tour to see how their beer, gin and cider are made. Your guide will take you through the brewing process and throw in a few surprises along the way, so allow up to an hour for this experience. Tours take place at 5.30pm on weekdays and twice a day on weekends. See more experiences like this in the 7 Things to Do in Hamilton for Foodies.
Location: 32 Somerset Street, Frankton, approximately 2km (1 mile) from the city centre.
5. Do a Waikato River Cruise
Whatever the weather, a cruise along the Waikato River is a good way to experience the famous river of the region. Join Waikato River Explorer for a scenic cruise, which takes place every 90 minutes between the Hamilton Gardens and the Waikato Museum. The boat features an undercover cafe and a fully-licensed bar so you can indulge in some goodies while you enjoy the views (and the fact that you’re not getting wet). See more activities like this in the 10 Romantic Activities in Hamilton for Couples.
Location: Hamilton Gardens, Hungerford Crescent, approximately 3km (2 miles) from Hamilton city centre.
6. Check Out the Art Galleries
Inspire yourself while keeping out of the wet weather at one of Hamilton’s art galleries. The Waikato Museum and the ArtsPost Galleries are located virtually next to each other in the city centre, each displaying ever-changing exhibitions. It’s also worth venturing beyond the city centre to discover gems like the contemporary art of the Calder and Lawson Gallery and the Inspirit Studio and Gallery with an indoor gallery and a sculpture lawn that you can check out should there be a break in the rain.
Location: Waikato Museum – 1 Grantham Street. ArtsPost Galleries – 120 Victoria Street. Calder and Lawson Gallery – University of Waikato, Hillcrest Road. Inspirit Studio and Gallery – 360 Pencarrow Road, Tamahere.
7. Tackle the Climbing Walls
Another rainy day saviour in Hamilton, Extreme Edge is an indoor climbing complex with climbing walls for adults and children alike. The fun-themed kid’s zone climbing walls have more than 30 different challenges to tackle independently with the special belay system that takes in the slack as you climb up and then lowers you gently to the ground. The adult’s climbing walls have something to test all skill levels across the 36 challenges. See more family-friendly activities in the 10 Things to Do in Hamilton with Kids.
Location: 90 Greenwood St, Frankton, approximately 3km (2 miles) from Hamilton city centre.
8. Hit the Shops
If you find yourself caught in the rain in Hamilton, then it could be a good time to pick up some New Zealand gifts. Shop for something handcrafted, New Zealand-made and unique at one of Hamilton’s boutiques, such as down the stylish Riverbank Lane or the attractive European-style Casabella Lane, both off Victoria Street. Indoor shopping malls with high street brands include Centre Place, Te Awa & The Base and the Chartwell Shopping Centre. See more activities like this in the 8 Luxury Activities in Hamilton.
Location: The Riverbank Lane – 298 Victoria Street. Casabella Lane – 307 Barton Street. Centre Place – 501 Victoria Street & 56 Ward Street. Te Awa & The Base – Corner of Te Rapa Road and Avalon Drive. Chartwell Shopping Centre – Corner of Comries and Hukanui Road.
9. Have a Bite to Eat
Sometimes, all you need is to wait out the rain with a quick coffee. Some of our favourite cafes in Hamilton include Zenders Cafe & Venue for Dutch-inspired treats, The River Kitchen for its freshly-baked bread, scones, cakes and brioche, and the bakery Volare. For dinner, take your tastebuds to Babaganush for Middle-eastern eats, while Chim Thai is a popular choice for Asian cuisine. For much more recommendations, check out The Foodie Guide to Hamilton.
Location: Zenders Cafe & Venue – 439 Ruakura Road. The River Kitchen – 217 Victoria Street. Volare – 373 Grey Street. Babaganush – 379 – 381 Grey Street. Chim Thai – 111 Thomas Road Unit 9.
10. See Vintage Cars at the Classics Museum
If you have more time on your itinerary, head to the Classics Museum. The indoor attraction is packed with more than 100 vintage cars, as well as countless petrol memorabilia, vintage toys, pedal cars and other historic treasures. Once you’re done browsing around the collection, sit down for an American-style burger, cake or another treat at the Jukebox Diner.
Location: 11 Railside Place, Dinsdale, approximately 4km (2 miles) from Hamilton city centre.
11. Binge-Watch 365 Days, 365 Activities in New Zealand
If all else fails, you can always get some inspiration for your next New Zealand activity by watching New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year on YouTube. Watch as the team behind NZ Pocket Guide take on 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand! Make sure to subscribe.