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Hamilton, New Zealand



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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.

Hamilton 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 Airport.

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 campus.

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
Hamilton Zoo, the Waikato Museum, the Hamilton Astronomical Society Observatory, the Arts Post art gallery, and the SkyCity casino. 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 boundaries.

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 tunnel entrance.
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.

Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamilton,_New_Zealand

For further information about Hamilton, go to: www.hcc.govt.nz  or www.hamiltonevents.co.nz  or  www.hamiltoncitytourism.com

Waikato Institute of Education
Address: Level 1, Tower Building, 48
Ward Street,
PO Box 773, Hamilton, New Zealand
Phone: 64 - 7 - 8382450   Fax: 64 - 7 - 838 2453