Hillcrest, Hamilton

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A neighbourhood in Hillcrest, Hamilton.
Basic information
Local authorityHamilton, New Zealand
Electoral wardHamilton East
Date established1949
Population8541 (2006 Census)
WestHamilton East

Hillcrest is a suburb in south-eastern Hamilton in New Zealand. The suburb is the home to the University of Waikato and consequently has a large student population. It is located on the east side of the Hamilton Town Belt, a series of public parks that run from the Hamilton Gardens to Ruakura in its eastern section.


The area was formerly known as Steele's Hill, named after Capt. W. Steele. Much of the area was covered in orchards in the early 1900s. It was named Hillcrest by the Waikato County Council in the 1940s when the area began developing as a suburb. Hillcrest began a part of Hamilton in 1949 with the 5th boundary extension.[1] Significant development took place throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

Features of Hillcrest[edit]

The University of Waikato[edit]

The main campus of the University of Waikato was established in 1964. In 2010 the university had 13089 students enrolled, the majority based at the Hillcrest campus.

Academy of Performing Arts[edit]

Opened in 2001, the Academy of Performing Arts is a prominent music and theatre venue in Hamilton. Its concert chamber is one of Hamilton's premier classical music venues.[2]

Former Hamilton Railway Station[edit]

The Station on Hillcrest Road is the former main railway station for Hamilton. The building was relocated from Victoria Street to its current Hillcrest location in the 1960s when the Hamilton Central underground train station was built. It is one of the few surviving railway stations that were built during the time Julius Vogel was in charge of New Zealand's Public Works Department.[3]


According to the 2006 census, Hillcrest has a population of 8541. The suburb is ethnically diverse. 40% of its residents born were overseas, primarily from Asia.[4][5] The Index of Socioeconomic Deprivation, ranked 1-10 from lowest to most deprived areas, lists the University section of Hillcrest at 8/10 (high deprivation) and the Hillcrest West section at 7/10 (moderate deprivation).[6]


  • Hillcrest Normal School is a state co-educational contributing primary (years 1-6) school with a decile rating of 8 and a roll of 571.[7]
  • Knighton Normal School is a state co-educational contributing primary (years 1-6) school with a decile rating of 5 and a roll of 663.[8]
  • Berkley Normal Middle School is a state co-educational composite (years 7-9) school with a decile rating of 8 and a roll of 731. The school was founded as an intermediate school in 1971 and became a middle school (with the addition of year 9) in 1998.[9][10]
  • St John's College is a single sex integrated Catholic school (years 9-13) with a decile rating of 7 and a roll of 682.[11]

Despite the name, Hillcrest High School is actually located in the neighbouring suburb of Silverdale.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hamilton Street Name Index, Hamilton Public Library
  2. ^ "Academy of Performing Arts". University of Waikato. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
  3. ^ Historic Hamilton: East and West of the River - New Zealand Historic Places Trust
  4. ^ "QuickFacts - University". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
  5. ^ "QuickFacts - Hillcrest West". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
  6. ^ "Index of Socioeconomic Deprivation for Areas within the Hamilton East Electorate". Parliament New Zealand. Retrieved 3 October 2010.
  7. ^ TKI entry for Hillcrest Normal School
  8. ^ TKI entry for Knighton Normal School
  9. ^ TKI entry for Berkley Normal Middle School
  10. ^ Berkley history
  11. ^ TKI entry for St John's College

Coordinates: 37°47′52″S 175°18′54″E / 37.7978°S 175.3150°E / -37.7978; 175.3150