Hamilton (Kirikiriroa in Māori) is the centre of New Zealand's fourth
largest urban area, and Hamilton City is the country's seventh largest
territorial authority. Hamilton is in the Waikato region of the North
Island, approximately 130 km (80 miles) south of Auckland. It sits at a
major road and rail nexus in the centre of the Waikato basin, on both
banks of the Waikato River.
The city centre is a bustling retail precinct and the entertainment area
is quite vibrant due to the large student population, approximately
25,000 tertiary students. Hamilton has the second-largest collection of
cafés in the country—second only to Ponsonby Road in Auckland.
is growing annually, with populations of 200,300 for the urban area and
140,700 for the territorial authority (June 2009 estimates).
According to official census figures, Hamilton's population is 65.3%
Pākehā/European, 19.9% Māori, 10.6% Asian, 4.2% Pacific Peoples and 1.5%
Middle Eastern, Latin American and African.
Education and research are important to the city, through the University
of Waikato, and Wintec. Research at the Ruakura center has been
responsible for much of New Zealand's innovation in agriculture.
Hamilton annually hosts the National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery
Creek, the southern hemisphere's biggest agricultural trade exhibition.
Mystery Creek is the country's largest event center and hosts other
events of national importance, such as the National Car Show and the
National Boat Show.
Manufacturing and retail are also important to the local economy, as is
the provision of health services through the Waikato Hospital. The city
is home to New Zealand's largest aircraft manufacturer, Pacific
Aerospace who manufactured their 1,000th aircraft in August 2009, and
Max Clear Aviation who manufacture and export high quality micro light
aircraft. Hamilton also has the largest concentration of trailer-boat
manufacturers such as Buccaneer.
Recent years have seen the firm establishment of the New Zealand base of
the British flight training organisation CTC Aviation. CTC trains over
100 airline pilots a year at its "Crew Training Centre" at Hamilton
Hamilton's only public hospital is Waikato Hospital with 600 beds and a
staff of approximately 2,500 located between Melville and Hamilton West.
There are two other major private hospitals in Hamilton City - Braemar
Hospital, located in the same area that Waikato Hospital is located,
Southern Cross Hospital, located in Hamilton East. A new Cancer hospital
is due to open in November 2010, on the previous Braemar Hospital
City facilities and attractions
Hamilton Gardens is the region's most
popular tourist attraction and hosts the Hamilton Gardens Summer
Festival each year.
Other local attractions include
the Waikato Museum,
Astronomical Society Observatory, the Arts Post art gallery, and the
SkyCitycasino. Just 20 minutes' drive away is Ngaruawahia, the location of
Turangawaewae Marae and the home of Māori King Tuheitia Paki.
Hamilton has 6 public libraries located throughout the city with the
Central Library housing the main reference and heritage collection.
Hamilton City Theaters provides professional venue and event management
at three theatrical venues in the city: Founders Theater, Clarence St
Theater, and The Meteor Theater.
The Hamilton New Zealand Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints is located in Temple View, Hamilton. It was opened
along with the Church College of New Zealand, a large high school owned
by the church, in the late 1950s. Both the college and the temple were
built by labour missionaries. The school is closing down in Dec 2009 as
the buildings do not meet the current earth quake risk regulations.
Every year, the Temple hosts a large Christmas lighting show which
attracts large crowds from all over the country.
Hamilton host a number of annual events that are centered around the
Waikato River which flows through the city, These events include The
Great Race (rowing), and The Bridge To Bridge Ski Race.
Air：Hamilton International Airport serves as both a domestic and
international airport. There are direct flights to Auckland, Wellington
and Christchurch and regular flights to other destinations throughout
the North Island. The airport also served as a major base for now
defunct low-cost airlines Freedom Air and Kiwi Air. As of 1 September
2009, Pacific Blue now offers three international flights a week, to and
from Brisbane Airport and Sydney Airport.
Cycling：Hamilton has extensive cycleways which link the city
center with the outlying suburbs. These cycleways consist of a mixture
of dedicated cycle lanes and mixed use cycle/walk ways.
Road：Private cars are the transport medium of choice in this
flat, spread-out city.
An extensive bus network provides coverage of Hamilton City. Many routes
extend radially from the central business district, while two ring
routes encompass the central business district and the outer suburbs.
Recent additions to the bus system include audio-posts at bus-stops to
provide arrival times, and improved weather shelters.
New Zealand's main road artery State Highway 1 runs through several of
Hamilton's suburbs and connects with State Highway 3 within the city
Rail：Hamilton is the railway junction of the East Coast Main
Trunk line with the North Island Main Trunk line. Rail passengers are
served by a large station located at Frankton Junction. Rail passenger
services are confined to The Overlander service which operates between
Auckland and Wellington.
Hamilton also has an underground station in the central city located in
a tunnel which runs from the Claudelands Rail Bridge through to Ward
Park. The station is currently disused and is only accessible from the
Hamilton's rail network serves as a major hub for the distribution of
dairy products to the ports of Auckland and Tauranga. This hub is
located at Crawford St.