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Waikato Attractions

Cambridge - Cambridge is an affluent farming community, which has its heart in the horse breeding industry. It has a wonderfully relaxed country atmosphere, with town planning and architectural design reminiscent of the English countryside from where it assumed its name.

Karapiro - Karapiro is a 7.5 kilometre long lake created by a large hydroelectric dam completed in 1947. Its calm waters have become a popular attraction for all kinds of water sports from rowing to windsurfing and sprint jet boating.

Tirau - Tirau is a town with a delightfully quirky sense of humour. A farming town essentially, it has adopted a novel art form using corrugated roofing iron. In fact its tourist information centre is a giant corrugated iron dog, next to an equally impressive sheep!

Otorohanga - Known as the kiwi town due to its kiwi house and aviary, Otorohanga is the closest big town to the Waitomo Caves. It also specialises in kiwiana.

Raglan - Waikato's own surfer's paradise, with waves almost guaranteed anytime you visit. Kite surfing, fishing and swimming are also favourite pastimes. Trendy cafés and art and craft galleries can be found along its main streets.

Huntly - A coal-mining town, unsurprisingly Huntly is also where one of New Zealand's biggest coal-fired power stations is located. Take some time to visit the Waikato Coalfields Museum.

Ngaruawahia - Home of the Maori queen Dame Te Atairangikaahu, Ngaruawahia sits on the Waikato River and has a strong connection to Tainui Maori culture and heritage.

Kawhia - Situated in relative isolation, Kawhia sits on a beautiful west coast harbour. It is said that the Tainui waka (canoe) is buried on the local marae.

Matamata - Matamata is home to some of New Zealand's premier horse stud farms. Matamata also has tours of the Hobbiton set used in the Lord of the Rings movies.