Hamilton is a city on the North Island of New Zealand. It is the seat and most populous city of the Waikato region, the country's fourth most-populous city. Hamilton was also awarded the title of a most beautiful large city in New Zealand. Initially an agricultural service center, Hamilton now has a diverse economy and is the third fastest-growing urban area in New Zealand. Hamilton Gardens is the region's most popular tourist attraction. Education and research and development play an important part in Hamilton's economy. The city's three main post-secondary institutes; the University of Waikato, Waikato Institute of Technology, and Te Wananga o Aotearoa.
Hamilton's climate is oceanic with highly moderated temperatures due to New Zealand's location surrounded by ocean. As the largest inland city in the country, winters are cool and mornings can feature the coldest temperatures of the North Island's main centers. Nighttime temperatures are even cooler outside of the city. Likewise, summers can be some of the warmest in the country with temperatures rising over 28 °C (82 °F) which can make temperatures feel much warmer or colder than they are. Ground frosts are common and snow is possible but rare. Typically summers are dry and winters wet. Fog is common during winter mornings, especially close to the Waikato River which runs through the city center. It is also one of the foggiest cities on earth.
Hamilton is host to several large scale music festivals including the Soundscape music festival, which is one of New Zealand's largest street parties. A classical concert series features world-class musicians which is held throughout the year at the Gallagher Concert Chamber, organized by the University of Waikato, Conservatorium of Music. Waikato Food and Wine Festival, Indigo Festival, the Great Pumpkin Festival at Hamilton Gardens, Balloons over Waikato Hot Air Ballooning festival are some of the festivals celebrated every year in Hamilton. The Base is New Zealand's second-largest shopping center, with over 7.5 million visitors per year to the 190 stores. Other local attractions include Hamilton Zoo, the Waikato Museum, the Hamilton Astronomical Society Observatory, the Arts Post art gallery, and the Sky City casino.