Hamilton and Waikato
- Official Name: Friendship Force of Hamilton & Waikato Inc.
- Closest Airport: Auckland International airport is approximately 1 hour 45 minutes by chartered bus to Hamilton; Hamilton has a domestic airport.
- Number of Ambassadors our Club can Host: maximum 18; fewer than 12 by arrangement.
About the Club
Hamilton has been involved with Friendship Force for 30 years. Until November, 2013, we had two clubs, Hamilton and Western Waikato. We have now combined and we are known as Hamilton & Waikato. Our membership is approximately 60. We enjoy club activities once a month and we like to host at least two exchanges a year both internationally and internally.
About the Region
Hamilton City straddles the Waikato River, New Zealand's longest river. The Waikato area is one of the world's most productive pastoral farming areas; dairying is the main activity. Horse breeding is well represented here and the climate and fertility sustain varied agricultural and horticultural production. Hamilton is also the educational and research centre of the Waikato with the University of Waikato, Waikato Institute of Technology, three agricultural research stations, a large dairy factory and a number of other industries.
Hamilton is New Zealand’s largest inland city with a population of 165,400. We have a museum and art gallery, many beautiful parks on the banks of the river, around the lake and our showpiece “Hamilton Gardens” is the only New Zealand garden listed in “101 Gardens You Must See Before You Die”. Each year, Hamilton hosts a performance art festival for two weeks in February, a hot air balloon festival in March, and the world renowned National Agricultural Fieldays in June that draws in over 120,000 spectators.
Turangawaewae, near Hamilton, is the official headquarters of the Maori King.
About our Programme
As part of our programme, we arrange trips to the thermal centre of Rotorua and to the glow worm caves at Waitomo. Usually, hosts take their ambassadors to a west coast beach and a walk in beautiful bush can be included. Ambassadors can be assured of an interesting and varied programme. We prefer visits in our summer, October to April (but not January) because our winters are cold and often wet.
Updated March 2022
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