• Maori history and culture
  • Turangawaewae Marae
  • Annual regatta


Ngāruawāhia 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, Ngāruawāhia is a significant place for Māori culture and history. Home to the Māori King, Ngāruawāhia hosts a number of important cultural events during the year.

Ornately carved Turangawaewae Marae is the Māori 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.

Ngāruawāhia is located at the junction of two great rivers - Waikato and Waipa. These rivers were once important canoe routes for Māori and later for the European settlers. Taupiri Mountain, which watches over Ngāruawāhia, is very sacred; on its slopes is the Waikato’s most significant Māori burial ground.

Ngāruawāhia is also home to the Hakarimata Walkway, which features kauri trees, streams and waterfalls. It has become known as a fitness challenge because of the 'never-ending stairway' which reaches to the summit.

Those who enjoy exploring on two wheels can hire a bike and ride along Te Awa, The Great NZ River ride from Hamilton to Ngāruawāhia via the impressive Perry Bridge.

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