Food Tours and Experiences in Hamilton
Try the food and drink New Zealand is famous for through the foodie tours of Hamilton. The vibrant city of the North Island and Waikato region is a convenient place to experience craft brewery tours, wine tastings, fruit orchards and more. You’ll also find a few surprises in the area, such as New Zealand’s only tea plantation and even a hiking tour dedicated to incorporating an artisanry experience! Find out more with this list of things to do in Hamilton for foodies.
For more advice on planning a trip to Hamilton, check out The Foodie Guide to Hamilton and find out where to stay in the 10 Best Accommodation in Hamilton for Foodies.
1. Embark on a Hiking and Food Tour
Eat and work it all off on a hiking and foodie tour starting from Hamilton! In a comprehensive tour with Nature & Nosh, hike to the North Island’s highest waterfall and the crystal clear Putaruru Blue Spring where you’ll relax with a gourmet picnic lunch. On the way back to the city, indulge in an artisan cheese tasting and sample Waikato wines at a local vineyard. Multi-day tour options are also available. Find out more about this tour on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: Tours depart from the Hamilton Gardens, approximately 3km (2 miles) from Hamilton city centre.
2. Take a Tour of New Zealand’s Only Tea Plantation
Next on the itinerary, head to the Zealong Tea Estate to experience a guided tour of New Zealand’s only tea plantation. Learn about the fascinating history of the first tea plantation of its kind established outside of Asia, discover the picking and processing aspect of tea-making and conclude with a ceremonial tea tasting. If your budget will allow, we also recommend upgrading to the high tea experience for Southeast Asian savouries and sweet cakey treats.
Location: 495 Gordonton Road, approximately 11km (7 miles) from Hamilton city centre.
3. Tour a Craft Brewery
In Hamilton city, be sure to try some New Zealand craft beer and a Kiwi-tastic meal at Good George Brewing. Better yet, join them on a brewery tour to see how their beer, gin and cider are made. They’ll take you through the brewing process and throw in a few surprises along the way, so allow up to an hour for this experience. Note that tours only take place at 5.30pm on weekdays and twice a day on weekends.
Location: 32 Somerset Street, Frankton, approximately 2km (1 mile) from the city centre.
4. Pick Your Own Blueberries
During the summer months, the fields surrounding Hamilton are awash in colour and fruiting orchards. The Lavender Backyard Garden, just outside of Hamilton, offers visitors to pick their own blueberries. You can either buy trays in the shop or bring your own containers. They also have a farm shop on-site, as well as a cafe kart where the blueberry ice cream is a must! We also list this as an activity in the 10 Romantic Activities in Hamilton for Couples.
Location: 398 Marshmeadow Rd, RD6, approximately 10km (6 miles) from Hamilton city centre.
5. Spend Sunday Morning at the Hamilton Farmers’ Market
Between 8am and 12pm, the Claudeland Fields of Hamilton city are buzzing with activity at the Hamilton Farmers’ Market. Mingle with the local growers and artisans and try an array of fresh local fruits and vegetables, hand-crafted bread and pastries, artisan butchers and fishmongers, honey, condiments and more. For more like this, see the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Hamilton.
Location: Gate 3, Brooklyn Road, Claudelands, approximately 2.5km (1.5 miles) away from Hamilton city centre.
6. Do a Wine Tasting at the Vilagrad Winery
Try award-winning wines in the off-the-beaten-track wine region of Waikato. Vilagrad Winery is open for tastings at their cellar door throughout the week, offering a diverse array of varietals such as Charminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, as well as ports and apple cider. Every Sunday, the winery also puts on a Mediterranean spit roast.
Location: 702 Rukuhia Road, RD2, Ohaupo, approximately 14km (9 miles) from Hamilton city centre.
7. Dine at Hamilton’s Top Restaurants
Hamilton has plenty to please all tastebuds! Excellent cafes in Hamilton include Zenders Cafe & Venue for Dutch-inspired treats, The River Kitchen for its freshly-baked bread, scones, cakes and brioche, and for a general lunch fix to-go, choose the bakery Volare. For dinner, take your tastebuds around the world with restaurants such as Agenda serving contemporary New Zealand cuisine with a French twist, Babaganush for Middle-eastern eats, while Chim Thai is a popular choice for Thai 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 – 6 Garden Place. Agenda – 237 Victoria Street. Babaganush – 379 – 381 Grey Street. Chim Thai – 111 Thomas Road Unit 9.