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About Waikato New Zealand

Waikato is a region in the North Island of New Zealand, stretching from the Coromandel Peninsula in the north, to Mount Ruapehu in the south. Greater Waikato includes the areas of Waikato, Hauraki, Coromandel Peninsula, the northern King Country, much of the Taupo District, and parts of Rotorua District.

The largest city in Waikato is Hamilton City, which is home to the University of Waikato and the Waikato Institute of Technology.

The Waikato region takes its name from the mighty Waikato River - the longest river in New Zealand. The Waikato River extends for some 425 kilometres, from Lake Taupo - where it creates the Huka Falls, through the Waikato Plains before emptying into the Tasman Sea south of Pukekohe, Auckland.

Places of Interest

Waikato River

The Waikato River creates many tourist locations and a huge range of activities. It is renowned for its whitewater kayaking adventures, specifically for the Full James rapid located north of Taupo.

The Waikato River Trails is a 100 kilometre series of riverside cycling and walking trails, located in southern Waikato. Find out more about the Waikato River Trails.

Lake Karapiro is an artificial lake located southeast of Cambridge. The lake itself offers a range of water activities including rowing, kayaking and water skiing. Located on the shores of Lake Karapiro is the Mighty River Domain, a 19 hectare recreational reserve open for public access all year round.

Waitomo Caves

The famous Waitomo Caves are an amazing subterranean limestone cave system located southwest of Hamilton City. The caves feature beautiful stalagmites and stalagtites, along with amazing glowworm attractions.

The caves offer a huge range of activities including:

  • Caving, cayoning
  • Abseiling
  • Blackwater rafting
  • Tubing
  • Climbing


The laid-back town of Raglan is located west of Hamilton and famous for its surfing. International surfers come to Raglan to surf its amazing left-hand break.