Ngaruawhaia is located 20kms north of Hamilton on state highway one. The town is proud of its Maori heritage and is the headquarters of the Tainui Tribe.
The town is busy stop off/rest point before reaching Hamilton and is also the junction for the Hamilton by-pass routes.
The meaning of the town's name is open the food pits, which comes from a feast held hundreds of years ago to celebrate the coming together of two tribes through a marriage. The word combines the Maori words wahia meaning firewood and rua meaning pit or hole in this usage
Ngāruawāhia is home to the King Movement. This was the official residence of the late Māori Queen, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu