2010-10-25 18:53


Getting there
Hamilton International Airport  serves as both a domestic and international airport. There are direct flights to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and regular flights to other destinations throughout the North Island.

An extensive bus network provides coverage of Hamilton City.

Useful Links

Rugby World Cup Stadium
Waikato Stadium

Famous sons
John Mitchell, former All Black coach, and Waikato Colts captain.
Warren Gatland, former All Black (1988 - 1994)

Hamilton is in the Waikato Region of the North Island, approximately 130 km (80 mi) south of Auckland. It sits at a major road and rail nexus in the centre of the Waikato basin, on both banks of the Waikato River. The area now covered by the city was originally the site of a handful of Maori villages (Kaianga), including Pukete, Miropiko and Kirikiriroa ("long stretch of gravel'), from which the city takes its Maori name.

Being New Zealand's largest inland city, Hamilton has a welcoming spirit, rich history and contrasting sights that make visiting the city extremely worthwhile to visitors. And as the hub of central North Island, visitors have easy access to iconic attractions such as Waitomo Caves, the Hobbit film set, Raglan's surf coast and the historic Te Aroha Mineral Pools and much more.

Hamilton Central, on the Waikato River, is a bustling retail precinct. The entertainment area is quite vibrant due to the large student population. The 2008 Lonely Planet  guide states that "the city's main street has sprouted a sophisticated and vibrant stretch of bars and eateries that on the weekend at least leave Auckland's Viaduct Harbour for dead in the boozy fun stakes." Many of the city's venues and attractions are located on the old Town Belt, including Hamilton Gardens, Waikato Stadium, Seddon Park, Founders Theatre and the Hamilton Lake Domain.

Hamilton Gardens is the region's most popular tourist attraction and hosts the Hamilton Gardens Summer Festival each year.

Other local attractions include Hamilton Zoo, the Waikato Museum, the Hamilton Astronomical Society Observatory, the Arts Post art gallery, and the SkyCity casino. Just 20 minutes' drive away is Ngaruawahia, the location of Turangawaewae Marae and the home of Maori King Tuheitia Paki.

The local rugby union teams are Waikato (ITM Cup) and the Chiefs (Super 14). The local colours are red, yellow and black, and the provincial mascot is Mooloo, an anthropomorphic cow. Both teams play at Waikato Stadium. Hamilton is also home to a soccer club, Waikato FC, that competes in the New Zealand Football Championship. 

Hot Air Balloons in Hamilton. (Tourist board)


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