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The Waikato region is one of the world's greenest places and richest agricultural producers. It has the largest concentration of farm animals per hectare in the world, animals ranging from Pigs to Prawns. The high rainfall contributes to creating many rivers and streams. The largest of these being the Waikato river, also the longest river in New Zealand which supplies most of the North Island's electricity. It is from this river that the region takes it's name.

Trout are abundant and swimming, boating, water-skiing and rowing are all popular activities on top of these waters. The Waikato River flows through the centre of Hamilton, the only city in Waikato, which consequently has a lot of beautiful surrounding parks, walkways and gardens. Ten minutes south of Hamilton is Cambridge, a very English styled town with large exotic oak trees and old churches. Cambridge is well known for it's antiques and craft shops. Areas close to Hamilton in the Waikato region are Matamata, Morrinsville, Otorohonga, Te Awamutu and Huntly - all within one hours drive.

The Waikato region is in close visinity to Waitomo Caves, one of New Zealand's top 10 tourist attractions. The caves are filled with magnificent limestone chambers and galleries. Underground rivers and bizarre formations of stalagmites and stalactites form huge columns. An underground boat takes you through a breathtaking glow worm grotto. The Lost World Cave (the deepest commercial abseil in New Zealand) 100 metres of free hanging abseiling - one of the most amazing adventures in New Zealand.

For those truly looking for indulgence, book a spa retreat in Te Aroha and have a dip in the Hot Mineral Pools. On the way to Te Aroha you'll see why the Matamata district is the " Home of Hobbiton " and why in Waikato the grass really is greener. Chill out at the seaside surfing town of Raglan with its quirky craft shops and laid-back lifestyle. Families may like to visit the Hamilton Zoo, experience a river trip aboard the MV Waipa Delta or visit the NZ Kiwi Culture Show, Angora Rabbit Shearing or the Altura Gardens and Wildlife Park .

Internationally Renowned Surf Beach

Out on the West Coast is Raglan. This internationally renowned surf beach is the Waikato 's most famous beach resort. Raglan Host many Surf Competitions throughout the year and is an excellent place to indulge in Surf Lessons. The Raglan region was also proud to host the fourth round of the 2004 World Rally Championship. This event will began on Thursday, April 15 2004 . All the teams wanted a return to the Whaanga Coast (Raglan) stage, which is regarded as perhaps the most scenic in the World Rally Championship.

Nature and Bush Walks The Waikato has an abundance of magnificent bush walks within the region. Walks can range from 30 minutes to a full day. Discover the stunning Bridal Veil Falls near Raglan and Marakopa Falls near Waitomo, or the Whangamarino Wetlands close to Meremere. The region has 5 big walks; Wairere Falls near Matamata, Mt Maungatautari near Cambridge, Mt Pirongia Forest Park near Te Awamutu, the Te Waihou Springs Walk close to Putaruru and the Hakarimata Reserve near Ngaruawahia. For those who appreciate nature, v isit the stunning Hamilton Gardens and many of the 20 other gardens in the region open to the public.

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