Ngaruawahia is situated north of Hamilton, a short drive along the Waikato Expressway. The town is at the base of the stunning Hakarimata Ranges, where the Waikato and Waipa rivers meet. Maaori used these rivers as vital transport and trading routes, as did European settlers.
Over 5,000 people live in the town (5,127 – Census March 2013). Ngaruawahia is also home to Turangawaewae Marae, a nationally significant marae which is the headquarters for the Maaori King Movement (Te Kıingitanga). The marae is open to the public only one day a year – during the annual March regatta, where traditional war canoes (waka) parade on the Waikato River.
The town has a strong sense of community, based around a range of sporting and other activities. The town is connected to Hamilton by the Te Awa River Ride. The Ride is a recently-created $1.5 million boardwalk for walking, running and cycling, Its development is ongoing, with further stages planned along the Waikato River