The Waikato is a region of the North Island of New Zealand that lies to the south of Auckland and is named for the Waikato River that traverses its length. The Waikato River has several hydroelectric dams and the man-made lakes behind them are used for a range of water sports.
- 1 Hamilton
- 2 Cambridge
- 3 Matamata – where Hobbiton was built for the Lord of the Rings and is now a tourist attraction
- 4 Pirongia
- 5 Raglan
- 6 Tairua
- 7 Te Kuiti
- 8 Thames
- 9 Whitianga
The Waikato River (Māori for flowing water) is New Zealand's longest river at 425 km (264 mi) including headwaters. The river's source is Lake Taupō, New Zealand's largest lake, and the river flows in a northwesterly direction through Hamilton to empty into the Tasman Sea at Port Waikato, some 50 km (31 mi) south of Auckland. The river between Taupō and Hamilton has been extensively developed for hydroelectric generation, with nine hydroelectric dams on the river built between 1929 and 1971, today supplying around 10% of New Zealand's electricity demand.
This area of New Zealand is partly agricultural, with dairying being the major agri-industry.
InterCity is a coach company that serves more than 600 destinations nationwide.
- Hobbiton Movie Set Tours, 501 Buckland Rd, Hinuera, near Matamata, ☎ , toll-free: 0508 4 46224866 (HOBBITON). Located in the countryside in the triangle between Matamata, Cambridge and Tirau.
- Ruakuri Cave at Waitomo, offers a captivating blend of Waitomo's most compelling subterranean experiences you will enter and begin a spiral 1.6 km descent from ground level via an incredible drum entrance and walkway into the underground cave.
- Creative workshops. Take part in a creative workshop: Spend a day with local artists and learn their skills and passion.