The Waikato is New Zealand’s fourth-largest region, covering 25,000 square kilometres of the upper central North Island. The region is bounded by Auckland to its north, Bay of Plenty and Hawke’s Bay to the east, and the Manawatu and Taranaki to the south. To the west, the region extends to the Tasman Sea coast, a largely rough and hilly expanse that does however offer a renowned series of surf breaks around the popular beach town of Raglan.
The Waikato’s population is an estimated 418,500. The region’s largest city is Hamilton, with 179,000 people; the remainder of the population are spread over more than 20 smaller towns across numerous territorial districts.
The region takes its name from the Waikato River, New Zealand’s longest, which has its mouth at Port Waikato and its origin in Lake Taupo. The Maori name Waikato translates as ‘flowing water.’ The Tainui tribe, one of New Zealand’s largest, regard the Waikato River with some reverence as a source of their mana - a concept broadly encompassing pride, spiritual power and authority. The river was historically an important transport and communications link for the people surrounding it, and in modern times is both a popular spot for boating and other recreation activities, and a site for hydro-electricity generation.
Waikato’s economy is heavily derived from the agricultural sector, particularly dairy. The second-largest sector in the Waikato is business services, contributing 8% of gross regional product (compared to 13% from the dairy sector.)
The Waikato region is also home to New Zealand’s largest population of horse operations and racing personnel. Much of the Waikato’s horse breeding district is centred around the town of Cambridge, the ‘Equine Capital of New Zealand,’ which has the distinction of being the birthplace of 13 Melbourne Cup winners.
The Waikato offers a diverse range of tourist and leisure activities. Hobbiton, the Hobbit movie set turned tourist attraction, is located in Matamata, 45 minutes east of Hamilton. The Waitomo Caves, south of Hamilton, offer an underground experience ranging from the tame - a boat or walking tour to view the beautiful limestone formations and native glow worms - to the adrenaline filled, including underground blackwater rafting, abseiling and ziplining through the darkness. The Waikato River provides boating, fishing, jet boating and rafting along its considerable length. Lake Taupo, the Huka Falls, the black sand beaches of Raglan, and Hamilton City itself are all popular destinations as well.
A cow carcass left to rot and seep into the main water supply of a Waikato school has sparked health concerns.
October 8, 2015
Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
October 6, 2015
Living Enlightenment : Crazy Wisdom for Crazy Times
A Series of public talks throughout the North Island from 2 October – 8 October 2015 with Yanchiji
October 4, 2015
Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
October 1, 2015
You are invited to join us at The Meteor Theatre, for an evening of conversation and connection for creative people.
September 30, 2015
The Department of Internal Affairs has rejected a request by the Jedi Society Incorporated to be recognised as a legitimate charitable endeavour, with all the tax-free benefits that entails.
September 28, 2015
A 2 metre high colourful chair on the roadside in Cambridge's Cowley Drive, made from recycled wood and decorated with a mirror and CDs, has caught the eye of passers-by.
September 22, 2015
If you are in Taupo on Tuesday - Do not miss this
September 21, 2015
I think I've been addicted to openness since long before my rock career. I was terrible as a teenager. I used to go out of my way to make people uncomfortable with personal details. I was always fascinated by the idea that we have these weird, random boundaries between what we do and don't show.
September 20, 2015
A national tsunami warning that had been in force following a magnitude-8.3 earthquake off the coast of Chile has been cancelled.
September 17, 2015
The trend for annoying your girlfriend with a barrage of puns - then posting the results on YouTube - has taken a Kiwi detour into the bush.
September 16, 2015
First 35 through the door - please be there at 6.30pm - we have a busy night ahead of us
entrance from bridge street only - there is ample parking at the rear of the building...
September 15, 2015
I know that a Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania is about the most random place for a country singer to come from, but I had an awesome childhood.
September 10, 2015
Sustaining the ocean and its environment is in the best interest of mussel farmers on the Firth of Thames.
September 8, 2015
A cat on a fiery mat, a sizzling bird on a wire and a horse in a drain made for an unusual day of animal rescues for fire crews.
September 6, 2015
Don't miss the latest offering from one of New Zealand's most successful live comedy acts. The Laughing Samoans comedy duo of Eteuati Ete and Tofiga Fepuleai has been touring the world for more than a decade now performing their hilarious and unique brand of humour.
September 3, 2015
I have a Woody Allen Jewish attitude to life: that it's all going to be disastrous. That it hasn't all been that way is simply down to some random quirk of fate.
September 2, 2015
Heavy, persistent rain has caused flooding and commuter chaos across the upper North Island and triggered weather warnings for parts of Waikato.
August 31, 2015
When it comes to inanimate objects, expect the unexpected.
August 26, 2015
A fourth man wanted for allegedly bashing a weary driver with the butt of a gun and robbing him has been arrested.
August 23, 2015
Laura Collins and the Back Porch Blues Band are heading to the Nivara Lounge in Hamilton on Thursday 20th August ready to 'rock the joint'.
August 19, 2015
The region's million-dollar Waikato Plan had been given a "reset" after the project became bogged down in information.
August 18, 2015
I'm not like most designers, who have to set sail on an exotic getaway to get inspired. Most of the time, it's on my walk to work, or sitting in the subway and seeing something random or out of context.
August 17, 2015
Scientists in the US have discovered a species of octopus that uses sneaky methods to hunt, engages in some romantic - if not a bit rough - sex and spends months breeding.
August 13, 2015
Our club is made up of members with a wide range of experience and knowledge of photography. We all enjoy sharing and talking about our interest in photography.
August 10, 2015
They've helped keep people alive in the outdoors and trained thousands of safety conscious firearms users but a former volunteer says the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council has been gutted to the core.
August 9, 2015
Random chance plays a huge part in everybody's life.
August 5, 2015
A Texas man has been hit in the jaw by his own bullet after it bullet ricochetted off an armadillo.
August 4, 2015
An Introduction to Mindfulness Facilitator: Vanisri Mills (Counsellor)
August 3, 2015
A chance meeting was the catalyst for a Franklin woman's decision to head to Nepal and use her skills to make a difference in the village of Gogane.
July 29, 2015
One of the best things about paintings is their silence - which prompts reflection and random reverie.
July 27, 2015
It came from the deep with big eyes and sharp teeth, but the marine creature that washed up on Rabbit Island, near Nelson, was more novel than scary.
July 26, 2015
Now here’s a band that will keep you coming back for more. With Mark in front of the mic you’ll be kept well entertained even between songs!
July 23, 2015
A potato-top pie has won the top pie award at the 19th annual Bakels New Zealand Supreme Pie Awards.
July 21, 2015
The progression of roles you take strings together a portrait of an actor, but it's a completely random process.
July 19, 2015
No-one knows the location of the Old St Paul's Cathedtral foundation stone 150 years after it was laid.
July 16, 2015
Dress up, bring along some snacks and settle in for an evening of 'Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone' questions and activities. Prizes donated by Sail Barbary, AC Baths, Heli Adventure Flights & Huka Falls Jet.
July 15, 2015
Jojo Gittings started Two Birds Eatery, her allergy-friendly raw and whole foods café in Hamilton, a year and a half ago. It's in an unlikely location, tucked into the side of her father Bernard Gittings' pub, The Riv, in a corner of the Clyde Street shopping centre. But the café has quickly become a popular spot for many Hamiltonians and is now open seven days a week.
July 15, 2015