Cambridge is a picturesque town well known for its historical church, antique shops, art galleries, fashion boutiques and a blossoming café culture.
Cambridge (external link) is a centre of the world-respected Waikato equine industry. The Equine Stars Walk of Fame, featuring mosaics of famous Waikato-bred horses paves part of the town centre.
Cambridge Raceway (external link) provides regular harness (pacing and trotting) racing with pleasant restaurant, bar and betting facilities, and a great family picnic atmosphere on summer evenings and day meetings. Large thoroughbred (galloping) studs, including the famous Cambridge Stud, can be found on the outskirts of Cambridge.
Maungatautari (external link) is a mountain sanctuary for native wildlife only 15 minutes drive from Cambridge and now a beautiful home for reintroduced kiwi and their newborn plus other native birds.
Lake Karapiro 6km south of Cambridge hosted the World Rowing Championships in 2010. It is a world-class facility for rowing and other boating activities, and training home to many of the successful Olympic and World Champion New Zealand teams.
Te Awamutu (external link) is the council seat of the Waipa District and serves as a service town for the farming communities which surround it. It has a population of 15,300 and is 29km south of Hamilton.
The town is often referred to as "The Rosetown of New Zealand", because of its elaborate rose gardens in the centre of the town. Many local businesses use "Rosetown" in their name, and the symbol of the rose is widely used on local signs and billboards.
Taumarunui (population just over 5000) is the administrative centre for the Ruapehu District (population 13,569).
It is in the heart of the North Island of New Zealand in a region the Maori call Rohe Potae (King Country (external link) ).
Taumarunui is nestled into a sheltered scenic valley where two rivers meet. Taumarunui is a centre for outdoor recreation pursuits such as canoeing, kayaking, white water rafting, tramping, hunting and fishing and is within easy driving distance from metropolitan cities such as Auckland, Hamilton or Wellington and tourist spots like Taupo, Rotorua and Waitomo Caves.
Less than 40 minutes south by road is the world-renowned Tongariro National Park (external link) .
Here in Tongariro National Park there are two of the country's largest ski fields - Whakapapa and Turoa (external link) , on the majestic Mount Ruapehu, and some of the world's greatest alpine walks.
Known as the sheep shearing capital of New Zealand, Te Kuiti is a tranquil town, surrounded by some of the most serene and unspoiled countryside.
There are excellent educational facilities within the area including three secondary schools, 22 primary schools, childcare & early education centres and three tertiary education institutes.
The town is supported through various community services and local government offices.
The stunning limestone Waitomo Caves (external link) are located nearby.
Otorohanga (external link) is home to the Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park. As well as three types of Kiwi (Northern Brown Kiwi, Great Spotted Kiwi and Little Spotted Kiwi) there are morepork (native owls), falcon, weka, tui, keruru (native pigeon), kaka and kea.
Otorohonga is the "Kiwiana Capital (external link) " of New Zealand, and proudly displays "Kiwi icons" such as pavlovas, gumboots and buzzy bee toys in murals and poster boards through the town.
The Thames population is serviced by a wide range of local businesses that boast a good trade and service sector as well as a full range of educational facilities from pre-school/childcare facilities through to tertiary and continuing education programmes.
In addition, there’s a lot to do! Whether you enjoy shopping, history, movies, participating in sporting activities, experiencing beautiful forests and coastlines, fishing and other water sports, or camping and hiking.
The township of Thames (external link) is often referred to as the gateway to the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula (external link) .
The Hauraki Gulf lies between the eastern side of north Auckland and the western sides of the Coromandel Peninsula and Great Barrier Island.
The sheltered waters of the gulf make it a fisherman's paradise. The even more sheltered waters of the inner part of the gulf are surrounded by beautiful bays and beaches which make the area popular for all water sports.
Tokoroa, population 13,450, is the hub of New Zealand's forestry, timber and pulp and paper industries. Located between Taupo and Hamilton, it lies at the crossroads between productive dairy farmlands and forestry plantations.
It’s within easy reach of some of the most scenic stretches along the mighty Waikato River (external link) . The lakes and rivers offer excellent trout fishing, boating, water skiing and yachting.
Visitors can follow the ‘talking poles’ trail (photo left) through the town centre to learn about Tokoroa’s history and people. Pastimes in this area include hunting deer, possums, rabbits, pigs, goats and other introduced species. The many gravel and dirt forest roads around Tokoroa attract motor rally and mountain biking events.
Putaruru's nearby Blue Spring is the current source of about 60 per cent of New Zealand's bottled water and its economy is based on farming, forestry and timber production.
Tirau (external link) 's main street is a very popular shopping area for antiques, novelties and curiosities, and is a great place to spend a leisurely Saturday.
The area around Tirau has a variety of outdoor adventure activities that would challenge the best - canoeing, white water rafting, four-wheel drives, jet-boating and bush walks, all nestled in the magnificent scenery of the Kaimai and Mamaku ranges.