Hamilton / Kirikiriroa
Hamilton is a fast-growing, multi-cultural city situated on the banks of the Waikato River in the central North Island, less than a two-hour drive south of Auckland.
The earliest recorded settlers in the area were the Tainui people, who called the region Kirikiriroa (long stretch of gravel). It was later renamed Hamilton after Captain John Charles Fane Hamilton, who was killed at the battle of Gate Pa in Tauranga in 1864.
The Hamilton area has a history of 700-800 years of Māori occupation and settlement, highlighted by pa sites, traditional gardens and agricultural features along the Waikato River, which flows for 16km through the city.
From magnificent parks and gardens to a thriving cultural precinct, the city offers a vibrant combination of fine dining and nightlife options as well as an eclectic mix of leisure, lifestyle and activity choices.
In recent times Hamilton has crystallised its reputation as a premier events destination by attracting massive major events to the city including Australian V8 Supercars, a New Zealand leg of the World Rally Championships and the World Rowing Championships in 2010 at Lake Karapiro. These high profile events are in addition to a stable of well-supported national events already established in the city.
Hamilton is also the gateway to the Waikato region, which reaches from Lake Taupo in the south to the Coromandel Peninsula and the Auckland boundary in the north. A number of the region's scenic and cultural highlights are within a one-hour drive of the city.
Visitors can chill out in Raglan, one of the world's best surf beaches, drive an hour south to the famous Waitomo glow worm caves, relax in the hot mineral spas of Te Aroha or explore the Lord of the Rings inspired Hobbiton in Matamata.
Hamilton is at the centre of one of the richest agricultural and pastoral areas in the world. It is the major service centre for the Waikato region - New Zealand's highest export region with 20 percent of all exports. The dairy industry is centred around Hamilton and Waikato - which is a world class centre of agricultural biotech excellence and home to much of New Zealand's science research and numerous major research facilities. As a result of this Hamilton is also home to the national Agricultural Fieldays - the largest agricultural trade show in the Southern Hemisphere.
Hamilton has a population of around 138,500 people, 3.2 percent of the total New Zealand population and is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. It has a youthful population with around half of residents under 30 years old. Today it is a truly multicultural city which includes 75 percent European/New Zealander, 19 percent Māori and 10 percent Asian. The wider Waikato region is home to a total of 402,200 residents.
Hamilton has a mild climate and moderate year round rainfall keep the city and surrounding area very green. Mean temperatures are 18°C in January (summer) and 9°C in July (winter). This climate provides ideal conditions to explore the diverse landscape of the regions from the rugged west coast to the historic Waikato Plains.
- New Plymouth
- Palmerston North
- Team Bases