About Matamata

Matamata is a rural Waikato town with a population of around 12,000 (6,000 in rural areas, 6,000 in the township). Set near the base of the Kaimai Ranges, it is a thriving farming area known for Thoroughbred horse breeding. The area around Matamata draws its prosperity from dairy farming and producing top class thoroughbred racehorses, and today the town’s main attraction comes from the film industry after the Alexander brothers farm became ‘The Shire’ in Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. The now permanent set as seen in The Hobbit film trilogy draws thousands of tourists to the area annually and has created a new micro industry.

Just 40 minutes from the beaches of Tauranga and Mount Manganui, close to Hamilton and Auckland and surrounded by Waikato’s finest attractions Matamata offers enviable lifestyle choices for its permanent residents which tourists only get a glimpse of.

Set in the shadow of the Kamai Ranges the area’s diverse range of natural scenery means there are some hidden gem’s too. Meanwhile, the Opal Hot Springs, which are right next to the town’s 18-hole golf course, add to the region’s many opportunities for a soak or swim in naturally heated waters.

Back in town, Matamata’s cafes on the main street are popular local meeting spots while artisan producers are also claiming the area as a good base for their operations including the award-winning Kaimai Cheese Company at Waharoa.

Matamata Area Info 1  Matamata Area Info 2  Matamata Area Info 3 

The many grand trees give the town centre a distinctive appeal and the iconic Firth Tower Museum in its park like setting gives an insight into the area’s pioneering history while “the Kingmaker”, Wiremu Tamihana, is also recalled in place names and historic sites.

Supporting the population around Matamata are a large choice of schooling options and the regions rural industry creates a stable job market with various Agri-Business also supported by industry and amenities available in the town itself.

Matamata is a popular area for skydiving, and several operators offer tandem or solo skydiving trips from the Matamata airfield, eight kilometres north of the town.

For a good bush walk, take the Wairere Falls track, a two-four hour return trip to the spectacular 153-metre Wairere Falls through the pretty native bush of the Kaimai mountain range. The falls drop over the Okauia Fault in two stages - the first stage of the track passes through a grove of native Nikau Palms, Puriri and Kohekohe trees before leading to a lookout platform with good views of the falls, while the second stage continues to the top of the hill for views of the valley and the Waikato Plains.

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