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.
This passage, written in a combination of letters and numbers, has been circulating social media for years and purports that only certain "strong minds" can read it.
February 7, 2016
Yesterday we obeyed kings and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to truth, follow only beauty, and obey only love.
February 4, 2016
It's not quite school at most know it at Rototuna Junior High, since no bells signal the start, intervals or end of the day.
February 3, 2016
Guest speaker: Malcolm Walter is a Professor of Astrobiology at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. He has worked for 35 years on the geological evidence of early life on Earth, including the earliest convincing evidence of life.
February 1, 2016
Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon... must inevitably come to pass!
January 28, 2016
While out shopping don't forget to take a spin on the Grand Carousel by the playground.
NZ's grandest ride, 3 rows of galloping horses, fun for everyone.
January 26, 2016
Ground keeping the biggest water hazard in New Zealand is no easy feat, but at least Mathew Neilson doesn't have to fix any divots.
January 24, 2016
Your heart is full of fertile seeds, waiting to sprout.
January 19, 2016
Millions of Kiwis are spending the equivalent of two working days a week glued to a screen.
January 18, 2016
Part of the Mahi Aroha Summer Programme: This tour gives you a unique look into the significant cultural, environmental and historic sites of the Ngati Hikairo people.
January 17, 2016
They looked like a load of carrots - but on closer inspection, the game was up.
January 14, 2016
Waikato will have to defend their national sevens title without the services of several key New Zealand stars.
January 13, 2016
Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself.
January 12, 2016
Enjoy non stop action all day and night long- the Safari Playhouse giant inflatable, returning favourites the Hurricane, Dodgem Cars, Graviton, Ghost Train, Giant Slide, Merry Go Round and much more.
January 7, 2016
Marty Toa from Waitara is keen to revive the rotten corn business in Taranaki.
January 5, 2016
Owner Gary Harding had the chance of a unique New Year's Day Group II double washed away by heavy rain at Ellerslie which forced the late scratching of his thoroughbred filly Capella.
January 3, 2016
Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen - that stillness becomes a radiance.
December 21, 2015
Herman Petrick's first experience with banishing what he calls demonic energy came out of the blue in a home in Wellington in May, 2012.
December 21, 2015
Join us this Christmas Eve for a very special Christmas Event!
December 20, 2015
I believe it is in my nature to dance by virtue of the beat of my heart, the pulse of my blood and the music in my mind.
December 18, 2015
Young and old are invited to share some Christmas cheer with music provided by the Taupo Concert Band and students from Taupo Christian School. Get into the Christmas spirit and join this very popular free event brought to you by Friends of Taupo Public Library.
December 16, 2015
The Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway has been officially opened – six months ahead of schedule.
December 14, 2015
Christmas Carols in the Park. Join Taupo Big Band with a few classic Christmas Carols. Great family activity.
December 10, 2015
It is by acts and not by ideas that people live.
December 8, 2015
Former Southland man Nigel Sherborne didn't realise he would be a central figure in one of cricket's most bizarre incidents when he donned the pads in Brisbane on Saturday.
December 6, 2015
I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.
December 2, 2015
The Royal Society of New Zealand presents the 2015 New Zealand Aronui Lecture to be presented by Professor Iain McCalman of the University of Sydney.
December 1, 2015
Her products retail alongside Prada and Gucci, and get used by global superstars. But Hammamas owner Sacha Hardy can be found in bare feet and jeans, sitting at her home in rural Waikato.
November 30, 2015
An entertaining evening of varied choral music featuring the Mighty River Harmony Chorus and the Waikato Rivertones Chorus together with talented local choirs.
November 26, 2015
In a gentle way, you can shake the world.
November 24, 2015
A 6.5m tall "mega cow" is planned for Morrinsville as part of the Herd of Cows? street art project.
November 22, 2015
The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another's, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.
November 19, 2015
The worlds going to end on the 20th. We decided it would be nice to put together a smashing night of musical weirdness to see us through! Come party and lose your minds with us at Altitude Bar on Alexandra street- you wont regret a thing, you wont have time to!
November 18, 2015
The average New Zealand cow is producing 18 per cent more milk today than what she did 10 years ago because of better genetics and feed.
November 16, 2015
Out of difficulties grow miracles.
November 11, 2015
The Digital Photography Novice Group meets on every 2nd Wednesday of the Month. We discuss ways to improve your photography.
November 10, 2015
A huge sinkhole has swallowed more than a dozen cars in the parking lot of a new restaurant in Meridian, Mississippi.
November 8, 2015
Family friendly event for all ages. Movie, Lazer Show and Fireworks.
All funds raised go back to the Taupo Community.
November 5, 2015
Melbourne Cup day was celebrated in styleat the Te Aroha & District Community Hospital.
November 2, 2015
When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.
November 1, 2015
Community House in Morrinsville is calling for donations for Christmas parcels for those in need.
October 29, 2015
From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.
October 28, 2015
Welcome to Dream River Poker, NZ's leading free poker league, where you will be playing in live, free texas hold 'em poker tournaments right here at Retrospect (part of the the Ambassador Hotel complex) for your chance to move on to Venue, Regional & National Championships and your shot at up to 5 seats into the WSOP.
October 25, 2015
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.
October 22, 2015
A man who admitted illegally owning a Taser bought it to use on himself, so he could be like martial arts star Bruce Lee.
October 20, 2015
The actions of a group of Cambridge residents has succeeded in saving one of the town's historic icons – an old red post box.
October 19, 2015
With self-discipline most anything is possible.
October 14, 2015
Waikato Institute of Education (WIE) currently has classes in French, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Dutch, German, and English. We can also arrange private tuition for languages not listed. Next term starting on 13/15 October 2015.
October 12, 2015
A Kiwi tom cat found mangy and flea-ridden in Brisbane now has another international connection to his story.
October 11, 2015
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