Hamilton’s Attractions For Art Lovers

Hamilton is New Zealand’s largest inland city and the gateway to the central North Island. Also known as Kirikiriroa in Maori, Hamilton straddles the superb Waikato River. The city is known for its welcoming and naturally warm spirit as well as contrasting splendours and rich history. You can be sure that you will be spoilt for choice for places to do business, enjoy, and relax. Hamilton is home to a thriving cultural precinct, and that’s why it offers plenty of vibrant options for art lovers. You can easily use bus charter in Hamilton to explore the various art attractions here.


Calder and Lawson Gallery

Where: Gallagher Academy of Performing Art University of Waikato, Hillcrest Road

The gallery houses a diverse visual arts programme. The myriad exhibitions here feature an array of contemporary art, which were created by some of NZ’s most exciting artists. Apart from the exciting events and exhibitions that are available in Calder & Lawson Gallery, you can also expect to find a mixture of works from the James Wallace Charitable Arts Trust as well. They are shown in other areas throughout the Academy. If you are interested in visiting this place, you can always contact the University of Waikato Art Collection Curator to get the latest scoop on current and upcoming exhibitions.

Soul Gallery

Where: 300 Barton Street, Hamilton

Soul Gallery is an innovative, fresh, and modern art space that showcases fine works of contemporary jewellery and art. It is home to a selection of monthly exhibitions that feature the works of established and emerging artists. Owned by Lisa Voigt, Soul Gallery was established to allow art lovers from around the globe to appreciate an eclectic melting pot of New Zealand made art and design.


Where: 120 Victoria Street, Central Hamilton

ArtsPost is located in Hamilton’s historic Post Office building. The attraction is part of the Waikato Museum complex as well. ArtsPost features three galleries of art shows that regularly change, as well as an art and design store. You can find stellar New Zealand-made jewellery, books, artworks, prints, glass, and ceramics at the latter.

Waikato Museum

Where: 1 Grantham Street, Central City, Hamilton

Established in 1987, Waikato Museum is known for its own collections and touring exhibitions that showcase science, tangata whenua, social history, and visual art from both regional and global perspectives. Designed by the late Ivan Mercep, who received a prestigious Gold Medal from the by the Institute of Architects, the museum is located on the banks of the Waikato River and is home to more than 10 galleries. It has the capacity to host up to 100 public events and more than 25 new exhibitions per year. Since its inception, the museum has been engaging and inspiring their international and local visitors with interactive programmes.

Some of the main highlights here include the Waikato WW1 story, For Us They Fell, the majestic war waka TeWinika, and other fun, hands-on science galleries that are perfect for young ones. You can also expect to find various galleries that exhibit a rich blend of artworks. Waikato Museum has been hosting the National Contemporary Art Award since 2000. The awards ceremony is held every year and is constantly curated by a new judge. It eventually culminates in an annual exhibition that documents a preview of NZ’s contemporary art scene.

Aesthete Gallery

Where: Cnr Rostrevor and Victoria Streets, Central Hamilton

Aesthete Gallery host artists in conjunction with other dealer galleries. However, they also represent a range of leading New Zealand artists. This gives them the ability to introduce a wide variety of present-day works to the Waikato. If you are new art collector looking to get hold of work by recognised artists, you can definitely find original prints at an affordable rate. What’s more, there are works that can enhance existing collections. You may be pleased to know that Aesthete Gallery also holds exhibitions on a regular basis. These exhibitions represent a great array of works, mediums, and styles from both New Zealand and around the world.

Ramp Gallery

Where: School of Media Arts Gate 5, Wintec Campus Collingwood Street, Hamilton

Ramp Gallery is a contemporary public art gallery that provides a space for dialogue and critical thought via an array of curated programme of online platforms, workshops, public programmes, essays, and exhibitions. Located in the centre of Wintec’s School of Media Arts, the gallery also aims to explore divergent ideological, multi-gendered, and cultural worldviews in a thoughtful, creative, and engaging manner. Ramp Gallery is open to all visitors and is free to attend. Just drop by between 12:30 – 4pm. They are open from Monday to Friday.

Inspirit Studio and Gallery

Where: 360 Pencarrow Road, Tamahere, Hamilton

Looking for a multifunctional creative space to explore in Hamilton? You can never go wrong with Inspirit Studio & Gallery. The contemporary and spacious art gallery was established in 2007 by Jenny Scown. Scown is not only a contributing photographic artist here but the director as well. The purpose-built gallery showcases a range of artistic mediums, including print making, functional art, indoor and outdoor sculpture, painting, photography, and more. Inspirit has a mission to promote and support high quality, original New Zealand art as well as represent leading local artists.

Apart from creating opportunities for talented emerging artists—by exhibiting their works alongside established artists—they also focus on developing a stunning rural setting and maximizing their open plan design to create a wonderful place to host collaborative exhibitions.

Classic Car Museum

Where: 11 Railside Road, Dinsdale

Last but not least, Classic Car Museum is one of Hamilton’s best attractions for art lovers. It is home to a broad collection of petrol memorabilia, which comprises oil bottles, tins, pumps, and enamel signs. As they cater for a great array of tastes with pedal cars, vintage toys, and scenes from early New Zealand, you can be sure that there is always something Classic for the entire family. Check out their onsite, 1950-themed Jukebox diner. The cool thing is that their diner staff also dress in 50s style diner aprons and dresses.

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