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About Waikato

In the center of the Waikato, the developing city of Hamilton offers a range of cultural, sporting and academic opportunities for visitors and residents.


Situated in the hub of New Zealand’s agricultural centre, the Waikato takes its name from the river, New Zealand’s longest, meaning ‘meeting of the waters’.

As the fourth largest city in New Zealand, Hamilton is at the heart of the Waikato region. With minimal traffic issues and an international airport you can still be part of the bustle with a rapidly growing restaurant and café culture. Hamilton has a range of places to meet friends, have fun, or just relax. The city also has many pubs and nightclubs to enjoy.

The city ‘s calendar is full of events like art festivals, theatre, river action and more – and is the home of the Fuel Festival of New Zealand Theatre. The award winning Artspost Gallery and the Waikato Museum of Art and History are located right in the heart of the city. The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra visits the city several times a year and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra tours from time to time, while Hamilton Chamber Music organises an outstanding mix of international and national artists for its series every year. There are numerous amateur choral, orchestral, operatic and music theatre groups in the city that present performances and offer opportunities for performers.

For the sports enthusiasts, Hamilton is a goldmine of opportunity which includes international events including Black Caps cricket, Super 15 rugby, Waikato-Bay of Plenty magic netball as well as local clubs, parks, swimming pools, cycleways, netball courts, jogging tracks, horse trails, indoor cricket, golf, soccer and rock climbing – something for everyone.

We’re the hub of the Waikato.  Raglan and the southern hemisphere’s best left-hand break are just 40 minutes away, while the Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty have some of the country’s most beautiful beaches and it’s an easy drive to ski resorts, forests, lakes and thermal hot pools. Waikato also has some of New Zealand’s best kept gardens, including Te Awamutu’s acclaimed rose gardens and the beautiful themed Hamilton Gardens that attract more than 1.3 million visitors each year. Hamilton Zoo, located on 35 acres of land, has the largest free flight aviary in Australasia and also houses the New Zealand Forgotten Forest exhibition.