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 Hamilton. 

FOUND

Fashion key icon.

MADE/401 Grey Street, Hamilton East, 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.

True

Fashion key icon.

302 Barton Street, Hamilton Central, Waikato

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

Fashion key icon.

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

Galleries and museum key icon.

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

Galleries and museum key icon.

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.

Inside the Laree Payne Gallery, Hamilton.

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.

Ramp Gallery

Galleries and museum key icon.

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.

Neat Hamilton Places

Trek 'n' Travel

Rab puffer jackets on racks at Trek 'n' Travel, Hamilton.
Place Hamilton

A specialist outdoor and adventure shop for the young and the young-at-heart.

Waikato Museum

Visitors taking in the waka at Waikato Museum, Hamilton.
Place Hamilton
Galleries and museum key icon.

Featuring dozens of new exhibitions every year, Waikato Museum tells the story of the region through visual art, tangata whenua, social history and science.

Last Place Bar

Close up of a man holding a burger on a tray at Last Place Bar.
Place Hamilton
Bars key icon.

If you picture a 1980s RSA (but cool) merged with an old-school American dive bar, you might land somewhere not too far off the vibe at Last Place.

Café Kopi

Seating area at Cafe Kopi.
Place Hamilton
Cafes key icon.

One thing is for sure—only good things come out of Riverbank Lane. So it’s safe to say when Café Kopi found a home in this community, we were pretty stoked. The vibe of this little caffeine haven is pretty chic, to say the least.