To the east, the land rises towards the forested slopes of the Kaimai and Mamaku Ranges.
The upper reaches of the Waikato River are used for hydroelectricity, helped by several large artificial lakes in the region's south-east.
It is centred on the Waikato which consists of Waikato District, Matamata-Piako District, Waipa District, South Waikato District and Hamilton City.
In descending order of land area the eleven territorial authorities are Taupo District (part), Waikato District, Waitomo District (part), Thames-Coromandel District, Otorohanga District, South Waikato District, Matamata-Piako District, Waipa District, Hauraki District, Rotorua District (part), and Hamilton City.
But this usually refers to a smaller region than the Waikato local government region.
Two definitions that would meet with wide acceptance are those of the Waikato rugby football union and of Hamilton Waikato tourism.
Between 20, Waikato economic growth was lower than the national average.
But from 2004 to 2007, real gross regional product for the Waikato Region increased by 5 per cent per year compared with 3.2 per cent for the national average.
The area around Cambridge has many thoroughbred stables.
Cambridge, Coromandel, Huntly, Matamata, Miranda, Morrinsville, Ngaruawahia, Ngatea, Paeroa, Pirongia, Putaruru, Raglan, Taupiri, Taupo, Te Aroha, Te Awamutu, Te Kauwhata, Te Kowhai, Te Kuiti, Thames, Tirau, Tokoroa, Waihi Hamilton City Waikato District South Waikato District Waipa District Thames-Coromandel District Matamata-Piako District Waitomo District (part) Otorohanga District Hauraki District Taupo District (part) Rotorua District (part)) is a local government region of the upper North Island of New Zealand.
It covers the Waikato, Hauraki, Coromandel Peninsula, the northern King Country, much of the Taupo District, and parts of Rotorua District. The region stretches from Coromandel Peninsula in the north, to the north-eastern slopes of Mount Ruapehu in the south, and spans the North Island from the west coast, through the Waikato and Hauraki to Coromandel Peninsula on the east coast.
To the west, the region is bounded by the Tasman Sea.
The coastal region is largely rough hill country, known locally as the Hakarimata Range, though it is more gently undulating in the north, closer to the mouth of the Waikato River.