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127 kms south of Auckland, Hamilton is located on the banks of the Waikato
River - the longest river in New Zealand.
Hamilton is known for abundant parks, walkways, river jet boating and river cruises, agriculture research, Waikato University, stud farms and the annual National Field day and Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.
Education and research are important to the city, through the University of Waikato, and Wintec (Waikato Institute of Technology). Research at the Ruakura centre has been responsible for much of New Zealand's innovation in agriculture.
Hamilton annually hosts the National Agricultural Field days at Mystery Creek, the southern hemisphere's biggest agricultural trade exhibition. Mystery Creek is the country's largest event centre and hosts other events of national importance, such as the National Car Show and the National Boat Show.
Manufacturing and retail are also important to the local economy, as is the provision of health services through the Waikato Base Hospital. The city is home to New Zealand's largest aircraft manufacturer, Pacific Aerospace who manufactured their 1,000th aircraft in August 2009, and Max Clear Aviation who manufacture and export high quality micro light aircraft. It also has its largest concentration of trailer-boat manufacturers such as Buccaneer.
Recent years have seen the firm establishment of the New Zealand base of the British flight training organisation CTC Aviation training over 100 airline pilots a year at its "Crew Training Centre" at Hamilton International Airport.
Hamilton is a hub for regular
bus and coach services
from and to Auckland, Rotorua, Waitomo Caves, Tauranga, Taupo, Gisborne, Napier,
Hastings, New Plymouth, Wanganui, Palmerston North and Wellington. The
Northern Explorer train service to Auckland,
National Park, Ohakune, Palmerston North and Wellington.