Hamilton New Zealand

Waikato River Explorer

Location: Hamilton Gardens, Gate 1

Hours: Thursday - Sunday (See link at bottom for cruise times)

The Waikato River plays such a big part in Hamilton's appeal. It snakes through the city, and you'll see glimpses of it every few minutes as you travel through. But why fight the traffic, cruise in style along the river on the Waikato Explorer.

Along the way you'll experience all the things that make this cruise so unique. The most obvious thing are the magnificent old bridges you'll sail under. There are lots, and many in the grand arch style.

Upstream you'll encounter native bush and wildlife that might make you forget the city is just down the river. You may even spot a waterfall or two! There are also many riverside estates that will have you wishing you were part of a dynasty.

But this isn't any old boat ride - the Waikato Explorer serves Lunch and Dinner. Just pick the appropriate time when you book, and you can refuel and relax. The boat is covered and has heating, so you'll be comfortable no matter what.

If you are partial to a little wine tasting, then the weekend cruises will provide a lot of choice. There are two vineyards associated with the Explorer: Vilagrad and Mystery Creek Wines. Both Lunch and Dinner cruises will satisfy your tastebuds.

During the day the explorer doubles as the Mystery Creek Ferry. Avoid the traffic and travel in style to an event such as Fieldays, or any of the events held each year at the Mystery Creek Events Centre. And if you'd just like a longer cruise, or to explore the Mystery Creek area, then you have this marvellous form of transport available.

Cruises operate Thursday - Sunday and leave from the Hamilton Gardens. For the full list of cruises and prices see www.waikatoexplorer.co.nz

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