Claudelands is a popular area, close to the city centre, with character-style housing. Close to Waikato University, the Waikato River, and the Ruakura Inland Port. Local attractions include Claudelands Park, Claudelands Event Centre and Miropiko Reserve while various sporting facilities are close by in Hamilton East .
Named after land owner F.R. Claude, Claudelands began life as Kirikiriroa Station in the 1870s, and developed as the first boundary extension to the original boroughs of Hamilton East and West. It was a highly desirable residential area and became part of the borough in 1912, with Fairfield School being built in 1919 to cater for the Claudelands children for whom Hamilton East was too far to walk. The first biplane to land in Hamilton did so at Claudelands Showground in 1920.
Today, much of the area has been designated by the Hamilton City Council as the Claudelands West Special Residential Zone to recognise and enhance the special character of the area. The City Council seeks to preserve the number of villas, arts and crafts houses and early bungalows, which provide links to the city’s early settlement. Although the City Council recognises that the area is not completely intact, the policies aim to protect the area from any further inappropriate development.
Key attractions and notable landmarks
Miropiko Reserve on River Road was the site of the original Miropiko Pā. You’ll find some local history here when you visit.
Claudelands was also one of Hamilton’s earliest settlements and the suburb has many period homes from the early 1900’s that add character to the region. Many of these homes still exist today with owners who take particular pride in their restoration and preservation. Areas of mature vegetation and large street trees and front yard gardens further enhance Claudelands appeal and character. Like Hamilton East, parts of Claudelands fall under the Claudelands West Special Residential Zoning rules, which are designed to protect the character of the area.
Rapid development in the 1970s led to large blocks of flats being built in the area. In 80s and early 90s a great deal of infill housing was developed on the quarter acre sections that were common in the area.
Shopping and amenities
With Claudelands just a short distance away from the CBD, retail and grocery stores are within easy reach—partly for residents on the west side of the suburb.
On the eastern side of Claudelands, Five Cross Roads offers a variety of shops, bars and fast food outlets. The Te Aroha/Grey Street shops also have several convenience stores including a fruit and vegetable retailer, an Asian supermarket, a bakery, and a butcher.
With the Hamilton East cafe strip nearby on Grey Street, Claudelands residents have many excellent eateries to choose from. If you want to stay local, The Kirk Cafe on Te Aroha Street, is the go-to spot for breakfast, lunch and anything in between, while Dumpling House on the corner of Grey Street and Te Aroha Street serves traditional Chinese dumplings, hotpots, stews and noodle soups. Spices Indian Cuisine brings some delicious heat to Claudelands at Five Cross Roads. Meanwhile, The Roaming Giant opposite the Claudelands Event Centre is a popular watering hole.
Sports and fitness
Part of Claudelands popularity is the array of recreational pursuits and facilities close by, particularly in Hamilton East . Whether it’s walking along the river, kicking a ball at Claudelands Park or orienteering in Jubilee Park—there are plenty of areas for everyone to enjoy.
Much of Claudelands is within walking distance of the CBD—from the Claudelands Event Centre into the city is approximately 2km.
However, the Route 11 bus runs from the CBD transport centre to the Claudelands area, stopping past the Claudelands Event Centre and Five Cross Roads, continuing along Fifth before heading north through Fairview Downs and Chedworth.
The Route 16 and Route 4 buses run from the city along Boundary Road on their way to Rototuna and Flagstaff respectively.
A taxi fare from the heart of Claudelands to the CBD is about $12.