Situated on the shores of the Waikato River lies the vibrant and thriving centre of Hamilton. Known as the ‘Gateway to the North Island’, the city is the biggest inland metropolitan area. Hamilton is known for its buzzing youth culture and its multicultural outlook. The city is known for its sprawling open park areas and gardens such as the Hamilton Gardens. The Hamilton Gardens is known for its layout of flowers and is geographically arranged with a section dedicated to flowers from Italy and one to Asia as well as others. The Waikato Museum is another important repertoire of the rich traditions and ways of life of the Maori people and is a fascinating insight into the region’s storied history. The Hamilton Zoo and its open air aviary and their famous Face2Face encounters that allow visitors to get up close and personal with exotic animals is yet another important tourist attraction to the city.
Hamilton is home to New Zealand’s fourth largest population and its eclectic mix of young, upstart entrepreneurs, students, researchers and academics led to a lively nightlife scene. Bar after bar line the roads on Hamilton’s main street that is constantly populated by the town’s keen residents. The city is a rapidly developing urban area and is a hotbed of diversity and this is reflected in both the city’s culinary scene and its nightlife options. Some of the largest tourist attractions to the city are the annual National Agricultural Field Day which is the southern hemisphere’s largest agricultural trade show.
Hamilton is also known for being a centre for shopping and a large number of both local and international designer and boutique shops. The shopping on offer includes the best in high-street fashion and art galleries offering works of local and international artists amongst others. New Zealand’s second biggest shopping centre, The Base, is located in the heart of Hamilton. Hamilton is also a centre for some of New Zealand’s biggest musical festivals and the Soundscape Festival is hosted in Hamilton every year.
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