Hamilton will be the final destination before the 2017 British & Irish Lions do battle with New Zealand – and it’s the perfect city in which to enjoy the calm before the storm.
On June 20, the Lions will take on the Chiefs at the Waikato Stadium just three days before the first Test but whether you’re enjoying a flying visit or a long stop-over in the city there is plenty to do.
The river and gardens make for a picturesque backdrop and, boasting more than 1,000 hectares of open space, it is hard to find a greener city in the world.
Therefore it’s no surprise that a zoo is housed within, while there are many museums showcasing the rich Maori, European and natural heritage of the Waikato region.
Hamilton is the region’s largest city but you can enjoy Waikato at its fullest by venturing a little further out, with beaches, hills and snowy peaks that suit leisurely strolls to adrenaline-packed adventures.
The Waitomo Caves, a series of natural wonders where underground limestone formations are evidence of the land rising from the ocean floor 30 million years ago, are also a short drive from Hamilton.
And of course, the region is also home to the Hobbiton movie set, used for the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, where behind-the-scenes tales and insight of how some of the greatest movies of all time were created are told.
Fans are now able to guarantee their place on the 2017 Tour to New Zealand with a fully refundable £250 Priority Access Pass for the official supporter packages. Guarantee your place at the front of the queue when ticket-inclusive travel packages go on sale during the 2015/16 season, and also receive an exclusive invite to meet the Lions Head Coach before their depart for New Zealand. With exclusive access to special events, flights and hotels, it's the genuine Lions experience – click here for more details.