WAIKATO REGION - NEW ZEALAND
The Waikato is the first region south of Greater Auckland. It has two spectacular landscape - one above ground, the other below.
Above ground the view is dominated by the serenity of the Waikato River and the rich rolling green of productive farmland. The main centre is Hamilton - a city that serves the thriving farming and university community.
The mighty Waikato river is best experienced from the deck of a scenic river boat cruise.
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NZstays - Hightlights of Waikato
Hamilton is famous for its themed gardens, and the local zoo which has the largest free flight aviary in the Southern Hemisphere - an excellent chance to find out about New Zealand `s distinctive native birds. The southern end of Hamilton `s main street offers an excellent choice of restaurants, cafes and bars.
In the Waitomo area, south of Hamilton , there`s a natural labyrinth to discover. Massive subterranean caverns are adorned with stalactites and stalagmitesâ€”formations that have been millions of years in the making. Visitors can glide through the darkness on a water-borne barge and admire the beauty and deep silence of the cave where the glow-worms overhead give the effect of an eerie underground sky.
The quirky West Coast beach town of Raglan is known throughout the international surfing community for its amazing left-hand break. As a result, the local township is laid back, crafty and well furnished with good eating places. Even if you don`t surf, you`ll want to sample the idyllic Raglan lifestyle.
NZstays - Main Centres in Waikato
- Hamilton - New Zealand `s fourth largest city
- Cambridge - antiques, arts and crafts
- Waitomo Caves Village - home of thrilling caving and adventure activities
- Matamata - thoroughbred horse racing centre of New Zealand
- Te Aroha - relaxing hot mineral pools
NZstays - Waikato Region
The river city of Hamilton invites you to watch sport, go cruising or graze the cafés at the southern end of the main street.
The limestone landscape of Waitomo has been artfully sculpted by water and time, both above and below ground. Delve into a world of earth magic.
Cambridge is ‘the town of trees and champions’. It’s memorable for its leafy streets, heritage buildings, antique shops and thoroughbred horse studs.
The coal town of Huntly makes an interesting stop between Auckland and Hamilton. The area’s mining history is on display at the local museum.
If low tide is late afternoon, Kawhia’s hot water beach offers the rare experience of soaking in a sandy spa pool while you watch the sun go down.
Matamata was cast as Hobbiton in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. The hobbit holes are still here, but there are other things to see too.
Morrinsville has made a special feature of its history with the Morrin Museum, where you can inspect a 1870s pioneer cottage
The Waikato town of Ngaruawahia is culturally significant for New Zealand Maori. It is the home of the Maori King and magnificent Turangawaewae Marae.
Otorohanga is New Zealand’s self-made ‘kiwiana’ town. Main street murals and displays explain some of the country’s most significant cultural icons.
Much of New Zealand’s bottled water comes from the Blue Springs in Putaruru. You can stroll to the springs along the riverside Te Waihou Walkway.
In Raglan you can catch a wave or sip a great espresso. This lively surf town has an interesting creative culture and a wonderful choice of cafés.
The perfect way to enjoy Te Aroha is to launch yourself on a hiking trail up the mountain, then recover with a long soak in a hot mineral pool.
Between November and April, it’s time to stop and smell the roses in Te Awamutu. This rural town has the ideal climate for fabulous blooms.
Just 20 minutes from Waitomo, Te Kuiti hosts the New Zealand Shearing Championships. This annual event is held the weekend after Easter.
You can’t miss Tirau – just look for the large corrugated iron buildings constructed to look like a sheep and a dog. This town is a little quirky!
Down to earth is a good way to describe the timber town of Tokoroa. No pretensions here; just honest kiwi hospitality and lumberjack-sized meals.