Campervan hire in Hamilton: Waikato wanderings
Hamilton is the centre of New Zealand’s Waikato King Country, the rural heartland which produces so much of the Kiwi staples - milk, beef and lamb. A landlocked city in a nation of spectacular coastlines, Hamilton is on the rise with continued city development – it also makes a great alternative to Auckland as an unhurried starting point for your campervan hire in NZ.
The riverside city is easily accessible by car or bus from Auckland and other main centres, and also has a regional airport so you can fly in and drive away. From Hamilton, you are well-placed to go anywhere in the North Island and beyond.
Take your pick: Motorhomes for hire in Hamilton
Simple sleeper-vans or campervans are popular in laid-back New Zealand and are very common on the rental market. In fact, some companies have only these in their fleet - they are easy to drive and manoeuvre and can go more places than the larger RV. Some campers have showers and toilets, while others forgo bathroom utilities, making it necessary to find a campsite with shared facilities.
If you have the whole family along for the ride, you can still rent a bigger motorhome. These homes on wheels are great for large groups or those who want a few more creature comforts on the road.
Compare top rental brands
Whatever your preference, Motorhome Republic aims to make it easy for you to find the right vehicle. Just enter your specifications into the simple search engine to see a list of options from a range of Hamilton campervan hire suppliers. All of the necessary details are right there on the results page, so you can compare and make an informed decision with ease.
Looking for a cheap motorhome hire from Hamilton? Our rates are among the best available. If you are quoted a better price from another website on the same camper, our low-price guarantee means we will beat it.
Things to do in Hamilton
The mighty Waikato River runs through Hamilton and there is a River Walk where you can stroll the banks and see a bit of the city on foot. To acquaint yourself with Hamiltonian history, visit the museum on Grantham Street which is free to enter. Kids will love Hamilton Zoo, home to hundreds of animals, both native and exotic. The Hamilton Gardens are also a great destination for families, with a variety of themed sections including a Rhododendron Lawn and Chinese Scholar Garden.
A sizeable city by New Zealand standards, Hamilton has plenty of urban entertainment including retail therapy. Stroll the shops and cafes downtown or visit The Base, a big shopping centre/outdoor mall in Te Rapa.
Hamilton dining and drinking – restaurants and nightlife
Most tastes will be catered for in Hamilton. As a rural centre, it has easy access to many fresh ingredients. In recent years Waikato chefs have been taking advantage of that fact and the once low-key dining scene is now booming. New and innovative restaurants are popping up, so take a stroll around downtown and see what takes your fancy. If you are looking for a recommendation, Scott’s Epicurean is an award-winner and local favourite.
Bars are similarly thriving in Hamilton, so just take a walk through the main streets. Get rowdy at The Outback, a student bar and nightclub, catch a game at the Zone Sports Bar or relax with a cocktail at the Vue Bar in the SkyCity complex.
Directions: Where to take your campervan hire
Many roads lead to Hamilton, and the exact same number lead away from it, opening up the numerous possibilities for your motorhome road trip.
Pointing your camper north up State Highway One will get you to Auckland in less than two hours, the dynamic Big Smoke. Further north is the stunning and sunny Northland, which is a holidaymaker’s paradise of beach, bush and small towns with ice-cream stores. A perfect destination for your New Zealand campervan hire trip!
To the east of Hamilton are Tauranga and the Coromandel Peninsula. The former is a beachy city, home to Mount Maunganui - New Zealand’s scaled-back answer to the Gold Coast. The Coromandel has a rugged, mountainous interior fringed by white sand beaches and coves and alternative, friendly communities. Hidden gems include Cathedral Cove, where the Chronicles of Narnia series of films was made.
To the south of Hamilton is a pleasant drive through farmland to Lake Taupo and the Central Plateau - beautiful mountains at the centre of the North Island. These are a ski destination in winter and offer a myriad of summer alpine activities, too. Beyond lies Wellington, and to the south-east is the beautiful Hawke’s Bay region where the sunny hills are covered in vineyards. If you visit, be sure to try a local wine!
Hamilton campervan hire: Driving tips
Hamilton makes an easy start to your New Zealand driving adventure, as a small city surrounded by wide open rural roads. Here are a few tips to keep you safe on your trip.
Stay left! Kiwis drive on the left, and the driver sits on the right.
Keep to the posted speed limits. These are in kilometres per hour, and so is the speedometer on your vehicle. The maximum on open roads is 100km/h.
Driving in the more mountainous areas, such as the central plateau, can be hazardous and slippery in winter. Take care, especially in a campervan - and be warned that some roads may be closed in snow.
You can dispose of your grey and black water in motorhome dump stations around the country. These are often located in holiday parks, campsites or on the outskirts of towns and cities. Marked by a blue dump symbol, they also can be found on the Automobile Association website.