Hamilton, New Zealand
Hamilton from Till's Lookout, from Whitiora to Fairfield Bridge, traffic on SH1, Māori Garden, Hamilton Station, city offices and WINTEC
|Nickname(s): Hamiltron, the Tron, H-Town. Previously: Cowtown, the Fountain City.|
Location of the Hamilton Territorial Authority
The area now covered by the city was originally the site of a handful of
Initially an agricultural service centre, Hamilton now has a diverse economy and is the third fastest growing urban area in New Zealand, behind
The area now covered by the city was originally the site of a handful of Māori villages (kāinga), including Pukete, Miropiko and Kirikiriroa ("long stretch of gravel'), from which the city takes its Māori name. Local Māori were the target of raids by
In 1822, Kirikiriroa Pa was briefly abandoned to escape the Musket Wars. However, by the 1830s
Between 1845 and 1855 crops such as wheat, fruit and potatoes were exported to Auckland, with up to 50 canoes serving Kirikiriroa. Imports included blankets, clothing, axes, sugar, rum, and tobacco. Millstones were acquired and a water wheel constructed, though possibly the flour mill wasn't completed. However, one article said Kirikiriroa flour was well known.
Magistrate Gorst, estimated that Kirikiriroa had a population of about 78 before the Waikato Kingitanga wars of 1863–64. The government estimated the Waikato area had a Maori population of 3,400 at the same time. By the time British settlers arrived after 1863, most of these villages had been abandoned as the inhabitants were away fighting with the Kingitanga rebels further west in the battlefields of the upper
The road from Auckland reached Hamilton in 1867 and the railway in December 1877. That same month, the towns of
The first railway bridge, the
The city is near the southernmost navigable reach (by the settlers' steam boats) of the Waikato River, amidst New Zealand's richest and now fertile agricultural land that was once largely Raupo and Kahikatea swamp.
From 1985 MV Waipa Delta provided excursions along the river through the town centre. In 2009 Waipa Delta was moved to provide trips on