Hamilton is New Zealand's fourth largest city in the central area of the North Island. Hamilton is also the countries largest inland city. The name "Waikato" is a Maori word, meaning "running water," and is the name of both the local province, and the river running through Hamilton. The Maori character of the campus is an important aspect of the University of Waikato 's identity.
Hamilton has all the attributes of a larger city without the smog, or traffic problems. The city is noted for its parks and river walkways, easy access to outdoors activities (skiing, whitewater rafting, hiking, caving, climbing, kayaking to name a few), a flourishing music, art and cafe culture. Students appreciate the relaxed atmosphere of the Waikato campus. The city is flat and easy to get around, and offers a significantly lower cost of living than Auckland.