Have a holiday in this unique town, famous for trees, horses and sports heroes. Cambridge is known as the "equine capital of New Zealand" because it has been home to many famous racehorses (13 of which are Melbourne Cup winners) and trainers. It's also known as the "Town of Trees" because many of the English trees were planted by the first settlers and can still be seen today. You see, in 1864, the Brits invaded the Waikato and set Cambridge up as a camp for soldiers. Once the war ended, the new settlers started work on building up the town – and planting trees - which has evolved into the Cambridge that we see today. When you stay in one of our Cambridge hotels, you'll see many of the original colonial buildings still dotted around town.
Staying in Cambridge is great because it's a rural town, yet very close to many of the North Island's main cities. It's also home to some gorgeous scenery. Cambridge is right on the banks of the Waikato River, New Zealand's longest river (and, perhaps, most photographed). Lake Karapiro is another local attraction, which is a popular venue for sporting events, and also very scenic. Maungatautari Ecological Island, a mountain reserve for endangered species', is only a 15 minute drive from town, and Maungakawa Reserve, eight kilometres from town, offers bush walking tracks and great views of Cambridge.
You can learn more about Cambridge’s local heroes by wandering down the "Sporting Walk of Fame" on Duke Street. Here, you can read the 25 plaques, commemorating local sports stars. Victoria St, likewise, honours the local champion horses. Cambridge locals love their sports and they celebrate each January with the National Waka Ama Sprint Championships outrigger canoe races. Every February, the New Zealand Grand Prix Hydroplane Championships are held, with speed boats racing on the lake. Both events are worth attending, but if you can't get here in January or February, you can always spend the day swimming, kayaking, rowing, jet boating, fishing and/or cruising on the river or lake.
If you want to do a bit of shopping, Victoria Street is the main strip for boutique fashion stores, antique stores and cafes. If you're looking for some fresh local produce, head to the Farmers' Market, at Victoria Square, on Saturday mornings. Here, you'll find fresh Monavale blueberries, as well as local dairy products, which are exported around the world.
Cambridge is only 18km from Hamilton
airport. There are public buses in town, but their service is limited, and the local taxi company only runs on weekdays, so you're best off hiring a car at the airport, to get around. Cambridge is only 83km from the "lake district", Rotorua
and we'd recommend you pay a visit if you can. For a laid-back holiday in one of the North Island's best kept secrets, book your flights to Hamilton
and Cambridge accommodation today.