Fill Your Cup With Hamilton's Best Creative Boutiques and Galleries

Inside Soul Gallery in Hamilton.

This is one sure-fire way to soak up the city's artistic energy.

Words by: Jess Willemse

Photography by: Anna Briggs 

There are few better ways to feed your spirit than a day spent exploring Hamilton's best boutiques and galleries. Slinging the works and wares of Kiwi artisans, you're sure to stumble upon some inspiration and quality goods. From conscious fashion and homewares stores to traditional and modern galleries, here's how to get your creative fix in the 'Tron.

FOUND

The Riverbank Lane, 298 Victoria Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton

FOUND is our go-to for that extra-special piece, situated in the ever-so-stylish Riverbank Lane. Owners Ann-Maree and Liz share a passion for well-designed and vintage garments, as well as a flair for homewares. It's hard not to feel welcome in a space like this, as FOUND was created to bring together like-minded people and form new connections. Sounds like a place we want to throw our support behind.

Fox & Frame

127 Alexandra Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton

If you're the type to add gallery walls to your Pinterest board, listen up. It's time to stop dreaming and start doing with Hamilton's custom picture framing and antique shop, Fox & Frame. Whether you're looking for stylish homewares, robust furniture or bespoke vintage framing, they've got you covered. You're spoilt for choice from retro glassware and vases to bar stools, cabinets and old-school suitcases.

Inspire Flower & Garden Shop

11 Herbert Road, Queenwood, Hamilton

Plant parents rejoice; Inspire Flower & Garden Shop over in Queenwood is here to make all your flora and fauna dreams come true. This sweet little botanical paradise is a one-stop-shop for all things gifting—even for yourself. Pick up a dazzling bouquet of seasonal blooms hand-selected by florist Adele, or shop a succulent for your friend who can't keep anything alive.

Needle in the Hay

300 Barton Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton

As the name suggests, Needle in the Hay is about finding those thoughtful, hidden gems in a world full of clutter. The collection spans eclectic pieces like vintage homewares, records and New Zealand-made goods. Follow the hidden alleyway down to the unsuspecting shop front for a browsing experience filled with moments of delight.

The Design Depot

52 Alexandra Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton

Give your home some love with a trip to The Design Depot. Indulge your inner interior nerd with their curated selection of home goods, from high-quality furniture to seasonal homewares, linen and giftware. If you don't know where to start, you'll be relieved to learn that you're not flying solo. Their team of expert interior designers offer an end-to-end service from consultation to decoration, sourcing and delivery.

True

302 Barton Street, Hamilton Central, Waikato, Hamilton

True focuses on 'unique designs, ethical production and elevated quality.' This boils down to respect for the highest quality fabrics and expert craftsmanship, ultimately championing clothing that moves us towards a more sustainable future. In short, they only stock garments from designers with reputable production processes. Here you'll find international brands like VEJA and Bassike, as well as local names like Mahsa and Caitlin Crisp.

Sisters on London

61 London Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton

Get your global fashion fix in the heart of Hamilton, thanks to the stylish sibling duo over at Sisters on London. Slinging collections from the likes of Sass & Bide, Zimmermann, Karen Walker and P.E Nation, you're covered from head to toe with these designer threads. On the accessories front, you'll find bags from Deadly Ponies and Status Anxiety, as well as jewellery by Meadowlark and Stolen Girlfriends Club.

Waikato Museum

1 Grantham Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton

For a taste of New Zealand history through Hamilton's lens, book in time at ​​Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato. As the beating heart of the CBD's creative district, the museum offers plenty of new experiences, exhibitions and events to discover. We recommend blocking out a whole day to unpack everything on offer across the themes of art, history, Tangata Whenua and science. From craft workshops to the annual Contemporary Art Award exhibition, there's never a dull moment at the museum.

ArtsPost

120 Victoria Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton

The heritage candy-coloured facade is your first hint that ArtsPost is worth the trip. Inside the former Post Office, you're sure to uncover something new thanks to the ever-rotating collection of artists. Wind your way through three thoughtfully curated galleries, and you'll be greeted by a frenzy of whimsical pieces like textiles, pottery, artwork and jewellery.

Soul Gallery

300 Barton Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton

If you need a dose of inspiration, hightail it to Soul Gallery over on Barton Street. Here, you have permission to lose yourself in all things quirky and colourful, celebrating New Zealand-made art, crafts and treasures. Founder Lisa Voigt's vision for the gallery is to "create a haven where people could come to appreciate a melting pot of New Zealand art and design." It's safe to say she's absolutely nailed that.

Laree Payne Gallery

286 Victoria Street, Hamilton

Ideally situated between Riverbank Lane and the Waikato River, it's easy to drop by Laree Payne Gallery on any day out in central Hamilton. Gallerist Laree prides herself on offering the only dealer gallery in Waikato, with new exhibitions popping up every month. It's all about contemporary Kiwi artists here. Works span engaging mediums like three-dimensional wall hangings, thought-provoking sculptures, and serene nature-inspired pieces.

Inside the Laree Payne Gallery, Hamilton.

Ramp Gallery

111 Collingwood Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton

With more than 20 years in the business, Ramp Gallery is an institution in Waikato's creative scene. Fittingly situated adjacent to Hamilton's Wintec School of Media Arts, Ramp delivers an inclusive space for students and locals to soak up work by Aotearoa's contemporary artists. From provocative large-scale installations to poignant yet powerful artworks, there's no doubt this spot will get your creative cogs churning.

 

In partnership with Hamilton Central Business Association and Hamilton & Waikato Tourism.

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Couple sat at a table at Saigon Noon.
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Needle in the Hay

The drinks menu at Needle in the Hay, Hamilton.
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A clever and quirky shop with an eccentric and eclectic offering of goods.

Wonder Horse

Cocktail in the making at Wonder Horse, Hamilton.
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The place for good chats, group hangs or after dinner drinks.

FOUND

Clothing on racks with vintage artwork above at Found Store in Hamilton.
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For you, your home, and the planet, FOUND wraps up individuality, sustainability, and style in a pretty bow for you to explore at leisure.