Ngaruawahia is culturally significant for Maori of the Waikato region. It is the home of the Maori King and the magnificent Turangawaewae Marae.
Just north of Hamilton, Ngaruawahia is a significant place for Maori culture and history. Home to the Maori King, Ngaruawahia hosts a number of important cultural events during the year.
Ornately carved Turangawaewae Marae is the Maori King's base. It is open to the public only once a year, during the annual regatta. Held on the nearest Saturday to the 17th of March, the regatta includes a parade of traditional war canoes on the Waikato River.
Ngaruawahia is located at the junction of two great rivers - Waikato and Waipa. These rivers were once important canoe routes for Maori and later for the European settlers. Taupiri Mountain, which watches over Ngaruawahia, is very sacred; on its slopes is the Waikato’s most significant Maori burial ground.