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The Waikato is a region on the western side of the North Island of New Zealand. It stretches from Lake Taupo and Taranaki in the south, along the banks of the Waikato River to the southern fringes of Auckland. The region has a wet temperate climate. The city of Hamilton is its major population centre and home to Waikato University.

The land is mostly rural farm land, much of which is dedicated to dairy farming, although the area around Cambridge has many thoroughbred stables.

The name Waikato comes from Maori, wai means water and kato mean to flow. So roughly Waikato translates to 'flowing river'.

Towns in Waikato