The Waikato encompasses the area to the south of Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula. In contrast to the Coromandel, it is an area of broad fertile plains which support some of the richest farmlands not only in New Zealand but in the world.

Though mostly famed for its highly productive dairy farms, horticulture has also become important in recent years. Hub of the region is Hamilton on the banks of the Waikato River which, with a total length of 264 miles, is the longest river in New Zealand.

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