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Culture & History

How better to experience a region than by its culture? And in the Hamilton and Waikato region, a rich Maori and Pakeha heritage means you can really feel like you’ve imbibed the spirit of the place.

The earliest recorded settlers in the Hamilton area were Maori from the Tainui waka. The Tainui people called an area on the west bank of the Waikato River Kirikiriroa (long stretch of gravel), which is the Maori name for Hamilton today. The area was later renamed Hamilton after Captain John Charles Fane Hamilton, who was killed at the battle of Gate Pa in Tauranga in 1864.


Waikato Museum

Waikato Museum's exhibitions, events and programmes tell stories from a regional and global perspective, and include visual art, social history, tangata whenua and science from touring exhibitions, and the museum’s own collections. On the banks of the Waikato River, in the heart of Hamilton's south-end cultural precinct, Waikato Museum's 13 galleries feature more than 25 new exhibitions and 100 public events annually.


ArtsPost is dedicated to developing and promoting artists, and to growing a dynamic and supportive environment for the arts in the Waikato region. Located in one of Hamilton's heritage buildings, this former Post Office is now a retail space and gallery. ArtsPost is regularly updated with the best in local art. Entry is free to ArtsPost's three galleries.

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