With lush greenery and softly rolling hills, it's no wonder the Hamilton area was chosen as the set location for the Shire in the Lord of the Rings films. Hamilton is one of the few New Zealand cities not on the coast and is in fact the largest inland city in the country, located toward the northwest corner of the North Island and surrounded by green hills. The Waikato River that runs through the city is the longest river in New Zealand.
The Maori occupied the area for over 700 years prior to the arrival of Europeans, though Europeans now represent the majority of the city's population. Hamilton sits in the middle of the North Island's thriving dairy and agricultural land. It is the largest city in the Waikato region and is the center of a large amount of important and exports, including agricultural products. Each year, the largest agricultural show in the southern hemisphere, Agricultural Fieldays, takes place in Hamilton.
A flat, easily navigated city, Hamilton has become a center for athletics in New Zealand, hosting numerous sporting events in the large Waikato Stadium. The city also boasts over 2,470 acres (1,000 hectares) of open space for walking, cycling, and enjoying the mild inland climate. Nearby, visitors can find opportunities to explore caves, raft whitewater rivers, kayak, surf, and ski. Downtown Hamilton is home to many unique cafes and restaurants, and concert venues, and each year, the Parachute Music Festival draws many national and international visitors.
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Academic Programs Offered in Hamilton