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Waikato landscapes

The Waikato region’s landscapes include flat floodplains, rolling hills, mountain ranges and steep volcanoes. How we use the land in the Waikato region depends on the landforms and their underlying rocks and soils.

Geology of the region

The Waikato region can be divided into four distinct topographical areas, characterised by our different landscapes:

  • Taupo Volcanic Zone
  • Waikato Lowlands and Hauraki Plains
  • Western and Central Hill Country
  • EasternRanges.

Find out about the distinctive features, land uses and related issues in each area.

The way we use the land reflects the landform and its underlying rocks (geology) and soils.

The map shows a simple picture of the main geology of the region.

The pink shows the large areas of and volcanic rocks through the central part of the region and also the Coromandel Peninsula.

The yellow areas on the map show areas where rivers have laid down alluvial sediments (mainly tephra from volcanic eruptions).

In the west there are large areas of sedimentary rocks (brown) such as greywacke, mudstone, sandstone and limestone. Sedimentary rocks were laid down, as the ancient land mass was submerged and uplifted many times. Some are as old as 200 million years. In places coal was formed, for example at Huntly.

Find out more about the land and soil resources in the Waikato region.