Hello October and hello daylight savings—we’re thrilled to have you back! Longer daylight hours means more time to explore this mighty city of ours and the wider Waikato region. Hamilton brings an abundance of festivities in October including an orchestral dance concert, a raw baking class and the return of Hamilton Fringe Festival. Here are all the best things to do in Hamilton this October.
Dinner On Durham
The legends behind Gourmet In The Gardens are at it again. This time, they’re shaking up Ngaruawahia’s Durham Precinct with the aptly named Dinner On Durham. Visit on Saturday evenings throughout October and beyond to experience some of the region’s best food trucks and stalls. Our advice? Swing past after a weekend climb up the Hakarimata track for a post-workout feast.
Sunday Supper Club At Mr. Pickles
Mr. Pickles has turned things up a notch with their epic Sunday Supper Club. The weekly event showcases a three-course set menu for just $35—it’s a total steal. The dishes change weekly, giving you an excuse to visit each and every Sunday. Previous supper clubs have left tummies well and truly satisfied with flavoursome beef rendang, sticky pork bao and Korean fried chicken. Even better, Mr. Pickles also serve $10 cocktails on the night. Sign us up.
Beer Club At Wonder Horse
A monthly fave in Hamilton. Head to Wonder Horse on the first Wednesday of October (and every other month) for their popular Beer Club. The monthly ritual gives you the chance to sample the hopped, malted and fermented goodness that is craft beer. For just $20, you’ll sip your way through seven delicious beers as well as nibbles from the Wonder Horse kitchen. Come for the beer, stay for the bar’s sweet tunes and cool vibes.
Waikato Home & Garden Show
October 3 to October 6
The Waikato Home & Garden Show is back and celebrating its 35th birthday. Head to Claudeland Events Centre where more than 450 exhibitors will be showcasing home, garden and lifestyle products. There will be everything from eco-friendly building materials and tiny home set-ups, to garden workshops and personalised wallpaper. You’ll also discover technology such as a wifi-enabled fridge with built-in cameras to show you what’s inside when you’re out and about. Mind. Blown.
Mosley is making headlines as the first major animated film made right here in New Zealand. The film follows a family of creatures known as “thoriphants” on their journey to find the “Uprights” and to free themselves from slavery. The heart-warming tale showcases the voices of New Zealand’s biggest stars including Rhys Darby, Lucy Lawless, Temuera Morrison and John Rhys-Davies. The must-see film premieres on October 10.
This is partying as you’ve never experienced it before. Synthony sees Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra join forces with DJs, vocalists and musicians to play the biggest dance tracks of the last 30 years. Leave your nan at home because the nightclub experience is combined with lights, lasers and a whole lot of magic. The Hamilton event features talent including Dick Johnson, Grant Marshall, Kings, Jenny B, Helen Corry and more. Secure tickets here.
Meet The Maker: NZ Sparkling Vs French Champagne
Hayes Common is toasting to their last Meet The Maker evening for the year as New Zealand’s sparkling goes up against French Champagne. The evening of bubbly will see you tasting three of the best from Blenheim’s No. 1 Family Estate alongside three French Grand Cru Grower Champagnes. The talented team from Hayes Common will match the bubbles with a five-course dinner brimming with spring flavours. Seats are limited and bookings are essential—nab your tickets here.
Raw Baking Class By Garden Of Eden Cakes
You can have your cake and eat it too at Garden of Eden Cakes’ Raw Baking Class. The workshop will demonstrate how to make a banoffee tart, strawberries and cream cheesecake, bounty bars and chocolate avocado mousse. Not only will you learn tips and tricks, but you’ll also get to taste the finished creations. It’s an unmissable class for those passionate about eating raw, vegan, gluten-free or refined sugar-free.
Hamilton Fringe Festival
October 26 to November 9
Hamilton Fringe Festival is back with its quirky avant-garde shows and performances. The event was first held in Scotland on the ‘fringe’ of the well-established festival, and now, Fringe Festival is now a world-wide art festival known for pushing boundaries. Hamilton’s programme leaves your spoilt for choice with theatre, music, visual art, comedy and interactive experiences. Check out the line-up here.
Hobbiton Beer Festival
October 26 and November 2
For a beer fest like no other, head to Hobbiton Beer Festival on October 26 and November 2. You’ll enjoy a dusk tour of the famous movie set before arriving at the Green Dragon Inn for an evening of festivities. Hobbit Southfarthing beverages will be on tap throughout the evening with three special ales being poured exclusively for the beer festival. Proving that Hobbits know how to party, there will also be mouth-watering canapes and German-inspired platters.
With the longer evenings upon us, why not lace up your kicks and check out Hamilton's best walks and hikes.
Image credit: Hobbiton Movie Set