Waikato is the name of a region that sits below the populous Auckland Region. 'The Waikato' as it is known contains New Zealand's biggest river, also called 'The Waikato'. On the banks of this river is Hamilton, the region's biggest city. It is New Zealand's biggest inland city and fourth biggest city in the country. Hamilton is very close to Auckland, with the possibility that it could be inundated by Auckland's suburban sprawl in decades to come.
The Waikato is known as one of the richest pastoral areas in the world. It is a huge fertile basin that was created by the Waikato River which is rich in agriculture and farming. Agriculture is the main industry with other sectors like tourism or hydroelectricity are increasing.
Beneath the pastoral plains lie the Waitomo Caves which are famous for caving adventures, black water rafting, viewing glow worms, or walking among some magnificent stalactites and stalagmites. Another popular place is the town of Raglan, which has one of the world's great surf breaks due to its long wave rides. It is one of the competition stops on surfing's world circuit.
The western border of this region is the Tasman Sea, the main body of sea between New Zealand and Australia. The coast has 3 large harbours: Raglan, Aotea, and Kawhia Harbour. Behind the coastal area lies the Hakarimata Range. To the east of this range lies a large floodplain which is used mainly as farmland for both dairy and cattle, as well as crops. Cambridge a town in this region is famous for its many thoroughbred stables. In the north near Te Kauwhata great wines are produced.