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Travelling south from Auckland, the Waikato is the first region south of Greater Auckland and is situated in the heart of the North Island. The region enjoys a temperate climate - warm, humid summers and mild winters with prevailing west and southwest winds. The region includes the city of Hamilton, the towns of Matamata, Cambridge,  Te Awamutu and Otorohanga.


  The Waikato, centred on the Waikato River, contains some of the world's most productive farmlands. The Waikato river travels through this region and it is the countries longest river. Waikato was the scene of significant battles during the Maori Land Wars of the mid 19th century. Visit the monuments and museums and discover the fierce history of the region.
Main attractions & activities

  Beneath the rolling green fields in the south are the Waitomo Caves, formed over 30 million years ago, and drip by drip they?re still changing. The cathedral-like caverns have long attracted sightseers but now also cater for thrill seekers exploring the underground streams and shafts. Glide through the darkness on a water-borne barge and admire the natural beauty of stalactites and stalagmites lit by the blue light of glow worms. The more adventurous may try tube rafting on an underground stream or abseiling (rappelling) 100 m into the Lost World and the Haggis Honking Holes (no previous experience is required). Above ground, there are interesting walks in the unusual limestone country. Exploring the many small prosperous Waikato towns for arts and crafts can also be very rewarding.
On a Matamata sheep farm, you can visit the remnants of Hobbiton, the hobbit village created for the Lord of the Ring's movie trilogy. View the hobbit holes and find out how the set was created on a guided tour.
Out on the coast, Raglan is an internationally renowned surf beach and the region's seaside resort.
To get there

  Hamilton airport is located 15 kilometres south of the city. The airport services both international (Freedom Air) and domestic flights. The main city, Hamilton, is located 90 minutes from Auckland and Rotorua.  



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