Located 70 mi/115 km south of Auckland, in the heart of New Zealand's dairy farming and racehorse breeding industries, Hamilton is home to the Waikato Museum and Art Gallery, which features a good collection of Maori art, and Hamilton Gardens, 100 different gardens, each with its own theme, including a traditional Maori garden. The city's zoo boasts a large walk-through aviary and includes some of New Zealand's rarest indigenous species. You can unwind under the trees beside the mighty Waikato River.

Ngaruawahia, the country's Maori capital, lies just northwest of Hamilton. There you can visit King Tuheitia Paki's residence and a Maori cultural complex.

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