Waikato is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Located on the western side of the North Island, the Waikato region features rich farmland, surf beaches and the mighty Waikato River.

Film Location of Lord of the Rings

In the Waikato region you can enjoy black water rafting, bush walking, winery tours and much more. Located on the western side of the North Island the region is home to over 350 000 residents. The region is steeped in Maori culture, jam-packed full of adventure opportunities and features glorious natural attractions - what more could you want.

Home to kilometres of untouched beaches, hot springs, idyllic forests and more the Waikato region offers travellers a unique and exciting experience every time. Just an hour and a half from Auckland, Rotorua and Tauranga the Waikato region is an ideal location to base your central North Island travels.

You can enjoy jet boat tours on the Waikato River, tour the film location from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, hold on tight and try black water rafting through ancient cave systems, surf in the coastal town of Raglan, taste some of the great local wines at one of the region's vineyards, visit the majestic Waikato Museum or get your heart pumping on a bush walk around the number of mountains and forests in the region.

Hamilton Riverside

The coastal region features the Tasman Sea, several harbours and the Waikato River. The land in the region is predominantly rich farmland. Both livestock such as Dairy Cattle and Crops such as maize are farmed. While in the region take advantage of the great natural produce of the region at one of the many craft, food and flea markets.

Hamilton City Fountains

The main centre in the region is Hamilton - the country's largest inland city. Fast-growing and picturesque, Hamilton offers visitors fine dining, cultural activities, beautiful parks and gardens and a multitude of activities. Hamilton is also home to the University of Waikato. Opened in 1964, the University now has over 14 000 students.

The Waikato region was the location of major bloodshed during the Land Wars in the 1860's. Known as the 'Invasion of the Waikato' the colonial government pushed south from Auckland. This attack was mostly as a result of the Waikato Maori assisting the Taranaki Maori in an earlier war. The National Marae is also located in the Waikato region and is the headquarters of the Maori King Movement and the newly crowned Maori King Tuheitia Paki.

The main centres in the region include Hamilton, Cambridge, Waitomo, Matamata, Raglan and Te Aroha.

You can get to Hamilton by car, bus, train or plane. The Hamilton International Airport is located just 15 minutes drive from the city centre and has flights from most major New Zealand towns and cities and flights from Australia.

There is a range of accommodation available in Hamilton including Hotels, Backpackers, Motels and Lodges.

Main Towns in the Hamilton-Waikato Region

Other Towns in the Hamilton-Waikato Region