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Need help with your car rental? Phone: 0800-141-466
Need help with your car rental?
Phone: 0800-141-466
Car Hire
Travel Guide

Secure a Rental Car in Hamilton Today

Blue Spring located at Te Waihou Walkway in Hamilton, New Zealand

The culturally diverse city of Hamilton is situated in the Waikato region of New Zealand’s North Island. To find the lowest rates available on car rental in the city, compare and secure your vehicle with VroomVroomVroom.

Quick Facts on Hiring a Car in Hamilton

Vehicle ClassesEconomy, Compact, Intermediate, Standard, Fullsize, Premium, Wagon/Estate, Van, SUV
Number of Depots4
SuppliersAvis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty

Hamilton Airport Collection

Have a car waiting from the moment you touch ground by hiring through one of our airport rental partners. We work with four rental brands that service Hamilton Airport (HLZ), offering a wide selection of vehicles at great rates that we compare for you.

Top Rental Car Tips in Hamilton

Cruising the vibrant, bustling streets of Hamilton can be quite the experience. From the popular Hamilton Zoo to the gorgeous Hamilton Gardens, you’re sure to lose yourself in the city sights. Here are some of our top tips when driving in Hamilton:

  1. Drive at a safe travelling distance from the vehicle ahead of you. It takes longer to stop on slippery roads, especially in wet or icy weather. In winter, double the two-second rule to ensure a safe distance between you and the car in front.
  2. Currently, the general speed limit in Hamilton is 50km/h in inner city and residential areas, while motorways and outlying roads may sit between 70-100km/h. Always drive to the signposted speed limit and conditions of the road.
  3. There are plenty of options for parking in Hamilton both under cover and on the street side. On-street parking is zoned by area and traffic flow, and some zoned areas may be classed as clear ways on weekday mornings and afternoons. Be sure to check the signage to ensure you’re parking appropriately.
  4. Stay alert for school zones and roadworks in the city as this will change the speed limit. Generally, you can expect to drive at 40km/h in school zones and 30km/h around roadworks.
  5. Be wary and alert of other drivers at traffic light intersections in Hamilton’s CBD as some motorists may try and run red lights.

Frequently Asked Questions for Hamilton Car Rental

Can I pick up my rental car in Hamilton and drop it off somewhere else?

Yes. Our car rental partner is likely to charge a one-way fee for this, but we include this in the rates we compare for you.

How far is Hamilton from Hamilton Airport?

Hamilton Airport sits 17 minutes south of the city via State Highway 3.

How far is Hamilton from Auckland?

It takes an hour-and-a-half to drive from Hamilton to Auckland via State Highway 1.

Explore the Waikato with the convenience of a rental car

There's plenty to do in Hamilton, and in the surrounding Waikato district. A frequent winner of "Best Waikato Event" as voted by the public of Hamilton, Balloons Over Waikato which is held in March each year, is one of the popular events. There are three venues, Innes Common, Hamilton Lake and the University of Waikato. You can catch a sunrise balloon ride on any of the festival days. A highlight of the weekend is the Zuru Nightglow, when balloons glow in the dark to a soundtrack of orchestrated music, with a finale of fireworks.

Make sure to use our travel guide to find the best things to see and do with your rental car.


Glowing Adventures

Address: 1199 Oparure Road, Waitomo Caves, New Zealand

magical tour via glowing adventures

This remarkable three-hour eco-tour excursion will take you off the beaten track for an alternative journey deep into our family's untouched farmland and into a mighty limestone cave system. With no concrete paths or electric lighting and small group sizes, this is an authentic and personalised wilderness experience that will take you into the heart of New Zealand's magical glow worm environment.
Their caving experience takes you away from busy buses and overcrowded tours, allowing you to experience this stunning spectacle in a more relaxed, and personal manner. Furthermore, this unhurried tour will allow you the time to fully submerge yourself in nature and explore the Waitomo districts incredible surroundings. A truly magical tour that will allow you to discover and experience a completely untouched hidden gem. For more information, visit their website.

Paintball Hamilton by Hinterland Adventures

Address: Hutchinson Rd

paintball at Hinterland Adventures in Hamilton

This Kiwi-owned business is known for their paintball and other exciting outdoor activities such as clay bird shooting, outdoor laser tag, and archery. The Hinterland Adventures site is just 15 minutes north of the city centre. All groups are very welcome including schools, stag do's, work functions, sports teams and birthday parties.

Waikato River Explorer

Address: Hamilton Gardens, Hungerford Crescent (departure and pickup)

Road trips are fun, but you can also try cruising for a change. The Waikato River is the lifeblood of Hamilton City, with many opportunities for recreation. Enjoy the scenery and tranquil surroundings of the Waikato River by cruising the Waikato River Explorer's 47-foot vessel. This popular charter vessel called Cynthia Dew can seat up to 54 passengers and accommodate up to 75. They offer lunch, scenic, and wine tasting cruises from Thursday to Sunday all year round.

Waikato River Walks

Or, get up close to the water with a river-side walk at these scenic paths:

  • Memorial Park- Rose Gardens (east side)
  • Rose Gardens- Hillcrest Beach (east side)
  • Bridge Street- Governers (west side)
  • Governers- Beerescourt (west side)

Hobbiton Movie Set Tours

Address: 501 Buckland Rd, Hinuera, Matamata 3400, New Zealand

A fantastic day out. Book your tickets for a tour at the thatched-roof i-site office in Matamata, a 45-minute drive from Hamilton. You can then choose to drive yourself to Hobbiton, another 20 minutes, or relax and opt for a bus ride there. The site itself is a little remote, so the bus ride takes the worry out of the trip. Hobbiton is large, so upon arrival, you board another bus for your tour. Guides are super-knowledgeable and have lots of behind the scenes stories. There's plenty of time off the bus to wander the attractions at your own pace. Finish your tour at the Green Dragon pub, with a cup of tea and a cheese scone. Read more about it in our useful article.

Mount Pirongia

Address: Accessed from Limeworks Loop Rd

With multiple tracks to suit your level of fitness, there is nothing more idyllic than the spectacular views this mountaintop has to offer. Get hiking shoes, comfortable clothes, pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the sense of satisfaction that comes with a good day of adventuring. Mt. Pirongia is a 40-minute drive from Hamilton.

Cricket at Seddon Park

Seddon Park is New Zealand's fourth largest cricket venue and is popular for its village-green atmosphere, and picnic vibe. As part of the ANZ Test Series, watch the New Zealand cricket team, the BLACKCAPS play Pakistan of 25-29 November.

Hamilton Gardens

Address: Hungerford Crescent

japanese garden in hamilton gardens

Not just a destination during spring and summer! The Hamilton Gardens are one of the city's premier attractions. It is more than a botanical garden, it is more a living museum with over 21 themed gardens to enjoy. Linger in the Italian Renaissance Garden or take a moment in the Japanese Garden of Contemplation.

Hamilton Zoo

Address: 183 Brymer Road

This crowd-pleaser is perfect for the whole family to enjoy the day or afternoon. If you aren't with the family, it's also a perfect first date! With native and exotic animals from around the world, plus a cafe to enjoy lunch, Hamilton Zoo offers a truly fun time.


Just 40 minutes of driving time from Hamilton is Raglan. This a surf side community has a big focus on the creative and artistic lifestyle. Have a surfing lesson, and try to stand up like the pros. Relax in the cafes or on the verandah of the Harbour View Hotel, the iconic pub in the centre of town. You can stay the night there too. Check out the Raglan website, they even have a Friday afternoon local surfing update!

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Underhill Valley Earth Huts by Canopy Camping

Address: Whatawhata RD 2

If you're looking for the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, or simply want a romantic refuge for you & your partner, then make sure to check out the Underhill Valley. Staying in the earth huts may remind you of the Hobbiton village. Each hut was beautifully handcrafted to promote sustainable living. Underhill Valley was established more than 15 years ago, yet remains the best-kept secret in Waikato!

Brooklands Country Estate

Address: 5908 Hwy 22, Waingaro

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city's nightlife and retreat to the peaceful, lush, green country of Waingaro Valley. Here you will discover a luxury accommodation that offers fine dining, a spa, a swimming pool, a library, a golf course and many other activities to help keep you entertained in such a secluded area. Sounds to us like the perfect getaway!

Argent Motor Lodge

Address: 27 Lorne Street, Melville

Ranked #2 of the 62 hotels in the city by TripAdvisor and located within close proximity to the Waikato Hospital and Lake. This cosy, top-class service and modern motor lodge offer great accommodation space and facilities at affordable rates.

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Restaurants & Bars

Smith & McKenzie

Address: 13 Lynden Court, Chartwell Square

For those who are searching for the best steaks in New Zealand, make sure to drop by Smith & McKenzie Chophouse. This restaurant can accommodate up to 150 guests, but it also features a separate bar, two garden areas and a special functions room. Smith & McKenzie is known for their tender steaks -- which use a slow cooking technique to ensure that meat is tasty and juicy. They also have a wide selection of wines and beers to compliment your steak.


Address: 20 Alma Street

Situated right in the heart of the city, Palate is one of the top restaurants in the Waikato region. It was established in 2005 and is headed by highly-acclaimed Chef Mat McLean, who is also the owner of this restaurant. Chef McLean and his hardworking team aim to provide the highest-quality, freshest food all the time. Palate has received numerous awards including the Cuisine NZ Restaurant of the Year Award (2012) and the Entertainment Gold Award (2014.)

The District

Address: Home Straight, Te Rapa (opposite Bunnings Warehouse)

If you are looking for great coffee, great food, and great service, then The District is the place to be. It is open from Monday to Saturday with dinner served every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Their seasonal menus feature local produce from the Waikato and other New Zealand regions. Make sure you try their beer-battered fish and chips, flash-fried squid and stone-cooked pizza. They also have a wide selection of wines, cocktails, non-alcoholic drinks and hot beverages.

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Customer Reviews for Hamilton Car Hire
Rating: 4.9 / 5 based on 38 reviews
  • How was your booking experience?
    Reviewer: Lauren D.
    Date: 04 Nov 2019
    Feedback: Very easy
    Rating: 5/5 happy
  • How was your booking experience?
    Reviewer: Angela P.
    Date: 03 Jan 2019
    Feedback: It would have been nice to know how much extra the AER fees are. We had to go trawling through car hire websites to find the information as it's very hidden.
    Rating: 3.5/5 indifferent
  • How was your booking experience?
    Reviewer: Olivia C.
    Date: 02 Jan 2019
    Feedback: So easy it feels wrong! Thank you. Not everything needs to be difficult.
    Rating: 5/5 happy
  • How was your booking experience?
    Reviewer: Tilla K.
    Date: 03 Nov 2017
    Feedback: Very effecient
    Rating: 5/5 happy
  • How was your booking experience?
    Reviewer: Judit N.
    Date: 20 Oct 2017
    Feedback: Easy to understand, great that there are no booking fees!
    Rating: 5/5 happy