North Island - New Zealand
New Zealand facts & history in brief New Zealand Map
Location of Hamilton in New Zealand.
Hamilton (Kirikiriroa in Māori, Nicknames: Hamiltron, The Tron, H-Town, Cowtown), 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 mi) 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 area now covered by the city was originally the site of a handful of Māori villages, including Kirikiriroa ("long stretch of gravel'), from which the city takes its Māori name.
By the time British settlers arrived, most of these villages, which sat beside the Waikato River, were abandoned.
Missionaries arrived in the area in the 1830s.
At the end of the Waikato Campaign in the New Zealand Wars the four regiments of the Waikato Militia were settled as a peace-keeping force across the region.
The 1st Regiment was at Tauranga, the 2nd at Pirongia, the 3rd at Cambridge and the 4th at Hamilton.
The settlement founded on 24 August, 1864 and named after Captain John Charles Fane Hamilton, the popular Scottish commander of HMS Esk, who was killed in the battle of Gate Pa, Tauranga.
The road from Auckland reached Hamilton in 1867 and the railway in December 1877 the same month Hamilton became a borough.
Hamilton was proclaimed a city in 1945.
The city is near the southernmost navigable reach of the Waikato River, amidst New Zealand's richest and most fertile agricultural land.
Initially an agricultural service centre, it now has a growing and diverse economy.
Community archives and historic photograph collections are maintained and are available at Hamilton City Libraries.
The centre of the city, on the Waikato River, is a bustling retail precinct. The entertainment area is quite vibrant due to the large student population.
The 2008 Lonely planet guide states that "the city's main street has sprouted a sophisticated and vibrant stretch of bars and eateries that on the weekend at least leave Auckland's Viaduct Harbour for dead in the boozy fun stakes."
Hamilton has the second-largest collection of cafés in the country—second only to Ponsonby Road in Auckland.
However, Hamilton still struggles with the arguably undeserved nickname of 'Cowtown' due to its origins as a rural service centre.
A more common nickname is "Hamiltron: the city the future".
As of 2007, the city continues to grow rapidly. Development is focused on the northern end of the city.
Traffic congestion is increasing due to population growth, though road development and planning has kept up with the rapid growth in most places.
State Highway 1 runs directly through the city, which contributes to congestion.
A bypass is planned, but Transit New Zealand, the national road funding agency, has repeatedly delayed this project to the dismay of Hamilton residents.
The rapid growth of Hamilton has brought with it the side effects of urban sprawl.
This type of growth is likely to continue consuming Waikato's profitable farmland as Hamilton City does not have a natural or legislated growth boundary.
The area around the city has seen some recent development into lifestyle blocks.
Geography and climate
Hamilton has a temperate, damp climate, with about 1,184 mm (46.6 in) of rainfall annually.
Thick fog is common on winter mornings, and often lasts until late morning.
Daily maximum temperatures range from about 22° to 26° C (72°–79° F) in January and February to 10° to 15° C (50°–59° F) in July and August.
Summer occasionally sees temperatures of more than 30° C (86° F), while on clear winter mornings temperatures may drop to as low as -5° C (23° F).
Snow however is practically unknown.
With the exceptions of low hills around the University of Waikato, Hamilton Lake and to the west of the city, and an extensive network of gullies, the terrain of the city is relatively flat.
Hamilton is on the same latitude as Melbourne, Australia.
Hamilton is one of the few cities in the world that has a near-exact antipodal city – Córdoba, Spain.
For more information about Hamilton, New Zealand see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
This information was correct in May 2009. E. & O.E.
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