Neat in the Neighbourhood: Hamilton East

Hamilton East is a suburb brimming with a unique charm that effortlessly blends the old with the new. With its tree-lined streets and a palpable sense of community, this historic quarter offers a more laid-back vibe than the city centre while still pulsing with vibrant, youthful energy.

Hayes Common's Lisa Quarrie on the Future of Hospitality and Adaption

A woman in her cafe posing for the camera.

One of our favourite cafés in Aotearoa is Hayes Common. Occupying a prevalent corner site alongside a river pathway, Hayes Common in Hamilton Kirikiriroa optimises everything you want in a local neighbourhood spot; an inspiring fit-out with multiple rooms, outstanding food and coffee made with care, a well-curated and changing drinks list, appealing events, such as their Meet the Maker series, plus super lovely staff and owners who work their tails off.

Finest Fit Outs: Hamilton’s Most Aesthetically Pleasing Spaces

A customer being served by a staff member at Cafe Kopi.

Hamilton may not boast the same abundance of hotspots as New Zealand's larger urban centres, yet it harbours establishments that stand in a league of their own. Here you’ll find some of the finest fit-outs in the country.

Hamilton’s Best Seats: Top Spots to Relax, Dine and Unwind


Hamilton's vibe is hard to pin down, but impossible to ignore. Emerging suburbs and hidden laneways lined with undiscovered gems paint the picture of a city undergoing an evolving urban transformation.

Hamilton’s Sixth Generation Dumpling Maker on the Craft and History of Handmade Dumplings

A woman dressed in red and black standing outside a Chinese restaurant smiling to camera.

For Lei Wang, owner of Hamilton’s much-loved Dumpling House, making great food is how she shows her love and appreciation for the supportive community she now calls home. We spoke with her about her family’s history making authentic handmade dumplings, and she even shared some of her best tips with us.

Revive the Body and Mind - A Wellness Weekend in Hamilton

Women receiving treatment at Lab Brows and Body Hamilton.
We all need to take a little time for ourselves every now and again. Wellness is easy to overlook when we’re busy, but taking care of ourselves is oh-so-important. Gone are the days when a gym session or fruit smoothie were the only ways we can do good by our bodies, instead they’ve been replaced with the idea of filling our cups, and we are here for it!!

A Guide to Crafty Brews and Bites in Hamilton Kirikiriroa

A hand holding a glass of beer inside Bootleg Brewery.

Beers and bites go hand in hand (that’s why we have two, right?!), and Hamilton Kirikiriroa sure knows how to deliver some of the best (beers and bites, that is, not hands).

One of a Kind Finds in Hamilton

A colourful rug on a wall at Hanrad Bespoke Rugs Hamilton.

Discover one-of-a-kind finds for yourself or that special someone in Hamilton using our list of eight local luxury businesses.

Aotearoa's Underground Haunts, Rooftops and The In-betweens

A view of the Pink Lady building looking up from the ground.
From rooftop bars to underground haunts and hidden gems in-between, New Zealand has plenty of incredible spots hiding in our cities and towns. They may be a bit hard to find, but the best stuff takes a little effort, right?

Leafa Wilson’s Hamilton

Leafa looking to camera.

I have been a multimedia performance artist for 30-odd years. I use the name on my birth certificate for my lifelong performative work ‘Olga Krause - Deutsche Kuenstlerin’. Leafa is my given ancestral name from my grandfather. We moved to Kirikiriroa-Hamilton 24 years ago and I have been curator of art at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga for almost 17 of those years. My field of expertise is art in all its manifestations. My husband Craig and I have six children and four (or nine including their siblings) precious mokopuna.

We’ve Found 8 Of The Best Chinese Restaurants In Hamilton

Bowl of dumplings in broth from Chinese restaurant in Hamilton.
Consider Friday night feasts for the next eight weeks sorted.

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.

Spend Consciously At Hamilton’s Best Sustainable Stores

Colourful items and a rack of vintage clothing from FOUND store in Hamilton.
This is the definition of feel-good shopping.

Tick Off Your Reading List At New Zealand’s Independent Bookshops

Bookcase jam packed with books at The Last Chapter, Wānaka.
Bibliophiles gather around; here's your comprehensive guide to New Zealand's best bookshops. Each of these fiercely independent bookstores brings a strong sense of personality, enriched by the culture and history of the towns they call home.  From North to South, from mystical fantasy to heartfelt memoirs, there's plenty to tickle your bookish brains at these local spots. So clear your shelf and break out your Good Reads list; here's where to get your literature fix across Aotearoa.  

Get Your Foodie Fix At Hamilton’s Best Healthy Eateries

Person holding healthy bowl of muesli from Frank, Hamilton.

Sink a superfood smoothie or smash back a vegan feast as you eat your way around Hamilton's wholesome food scene.

Dial-Up Summer With 10 Of The Best Things To Do In Hamilton

Surrealist gardens at Hamilton Gardens.

If there’s one way to make our favourite season even better, this is it.

Indulge in Retail Therapy, We've Found the Neatest Places to Shop in Hamilton

Pink clothes on racks.

Hit the ground running in Hamilton and head out to see the best in retail the city has to offer. From clothing stores to bookshops, we’ve scoured the city from Hamilton East to Frankton for the neatest places to indulge in a bit of retail therapy.

12 Hours Raglan

The beach at Raglan, New Zealand.

Your guide to the best things to do in Raglan, Waikato

Making His Mark

Alan Deare sitting in a cafe.
Alan Deare has made his mark on the cultural sector and publishing, picking up a swag of awards along the way. A decade on from establishing Area Design, Alan shares his thoughts on contemporary culture, music and the brand identity of some of those neat places he’s had a hand in creating.


Pastries at Gather Food House in Frankton, Hamilton
From rags to riches, Frankton has long been touted as the Cinderella of Hamilton. This eclectic railway suburb now hosts some fantastic eateries and producers. With a rollercoaster history in its rearview, this suburb is under ongoing transformation, guided towards a trendy future. With plenty of beautiful old buildings, business investment, and a younger population calling it home, Frankton is quickly rising as a destination.

Man With a Plan

A photo of Matt Stark.
Well-known about town thanks to his development of some of Hamilton’s new favourite nooks and crannies, Matt Stark tells us about packing away his tool belt and swapping it for folders full of plans.

A Good Life

A portrait of Esther Vreede
An architecture graduate, teacher, and mum of two, Esther Vreede is no stranger to hard work. But a dark time with depression caused her to rethink and slow down her life, and in time brought forth the creation of something very very good.

The Trekker and Traveler

A photo of Colin and employee from Trek 'n' Travel, Hamilton.
It’s not often you’d think to send a postcard while travelling to someone at a retail shop back home, but for visitors to Colin’s store, that feels like exactly the right thing to do.

Scientists in the Kitchen

An image of Mônica Senna Salerno & Jenny Oldham.
Finalists in the latest SheEO awards, Mônica Senna Salerno and Jenny Oldham are no strangers to building a successful business. We take a moment to hear more about goat’s cheese and what links science to cooking.

12 Hours Hamilton

The interior of Mr Pickle's in Hamilton.

The neatest things to see, eat, and do.

The celebrity chef

The creative force in the Madam Woo kitchen, Josh Emett has impressed eaters up and down the country.

A Guide to New Zealand's Coffee Roasters

A coffee on a table.
Not all coffee is created equal, so in our guide to New Zealand’s coffee roasters, we pay homage to those roasting, brewing, and serving it the best. You’ll find micro-roasters rubbing shoulders with the country’s biggest producers.