Often-derided Hamilton has taken another beating for its alleged lack of hype and things to do, this time from Springbok coach Peter de Villiers, who says the city offers nothing to keep his team motivated.

But the Mayor is not bothered by the comments and fired his own salvo, saying the South Africans probably would not feel too welcome there ahead of the sellout test match on Saturday.

De Villiers said the South Africans would stay on the Gold Coast ahead of the match at Waikato Stadium against the All Blacks. He said there was nothing in Hamilton to keep his players entertained and believed apathy could set in.

However, the team's media liaison officer Anthony Mackaiser said there was no ill-feeling towards the city affectionately known as "The Tron".

He said the players enjoyed touring New Zealand because "the people there know and love their rugby".

"The decision wasn't taken because we thought Hamilton was boring, more it was taken in the interest of the team and in terms of keeping them fresh for what has been a pretty tough series," said Mr Mackaiser.

It is not the first time Hamilton's alleged lack of buzz has hit the headlines with visiting sports teams. Three years ago, Queensland Reds rugby captain Chris Latham blamed boredom for his team's 35-17 loss to the Chiefs.

But Mayor Bob Simcock said these slights to his city did not bother him.

"To be honest, if the Springboks were in the streets of Hamilton they probably wouldn't feel that welcome anyway," he said.

"They've just come off a hard match, they looked tired as hell halfway through it to me and I would think the only thing they would be thinking about is where they could get themselves into the best form and I don't think it has anything to do with Hamilton at all."

Waikato Rugby Union chief executive Graham Bowen said the snub was possibly more disappointing for the expatriate South African community and fans. He said there were plenty of attractions in or near the region such as the Waitomo caves, Raglan's surf breaks or Rotorua, about an hour and a half away.

Hamilton City Council spokeswoman Monica Holt said Hamilton accepted its lack of natural attractions so had repositioned itself as an events-driven city.

Travel guide Lonely Planet last year said Hamilton had a sophisticated and vibrant nightlife which left Auckland's Viaduct Harbour for dead in the boozy fun stakes.

The council had invested about $100 million in the past year to attract events to the city, including next month's David Tua and Shane Cameron fight, Balloons over Waikato, Fieldays at Mystery Creek and the V8 Supercar series.

The Springboks arrive in Auckland tomorrow at 2.50pm where they will be welcomed by a number of expatriates and a performing arts minstrel group.

* Top five things to do in Hamilton

Visit Hamilton Gardens.
Feed the animals at Hamilton Zoo.
Take a walk round Hamilton Lake.
A night out on Hood St.
The Waikato River Trail.

Source: Hamilton City Council