Built on the banks of New Zealand’s longest river, the prosperous city of Hamilton is the heart of the rich farmlands of the Waikato.
Hamilton lies less than 2 hours south of Auckland, at the centre of New Zealand’s North Island. It is the country’s fourth largest city and straddles the Waikato River. The surrounding area is fertile pastureland, and is home to New Zealand’s dairy industry and thoroughbred racehorse industry.
Originally a military settlement, Hamilton today is a busy centre servicing the surrounding farmlands. The Waikato River is central to many of the city’s attractions, such as cruises aboard a paddle steamer and walks along its banks. The riverbank is also home to the Waikato Museum of Art and History. The city has an abundance of beautiful parks and gardens, an excellent Zoo, an extensive range of cafes, bars and shops, and a smattering of historic buildings.
Less than an hour’s drive west of the city is the surfing Mecca of Raglan. As well as the beach, this pretty town also offers an interesting selection of shops and cafes. Another easy daytrip from the city are the infamous Waikato Caves with their spectacular stalactite and stalagmite formations, one of New Zealand’s natural wonders.