Hampden, a rural settlement in North Otago, New Zealand, lies close to the North Otago coast, 30 kilometers south of Oamaru. In 2004, the population was measured at 304. Hampden is named in honor of the English politician John Hampden.
Hampden is situated beside a broad bay stretching from Aorere Point to Moeraki Point, on a coastal plain which rises westward to the foothills of the horse range and the Kakanui Mountains. The soil of this surrounding plain overlies a limestone formation. The Moeraki Boulders are located two kilometres south of Hampden.
The streets of Hampden run in a rectangular grid pattern centred on the main highway and the railway. They are named after English locations, hence Lancaster, Shrewsbury, Worcester, and Norfolk. There is surfing on the Katiki straight, as well as trout-fishing in the Waianakarua and Shag rivers.
The town includes a rural fire station, a fish-and-chip shop, a small supermarket, a motel, and backpackers, a popular camping ground, a cafe, the Hampden Lodge and mechanics workshop, a small second-hand goods shop, a tavern, and a historic town hall. Sheep husbandry is the primary economic activity of the region and is augmented by farming of other livestock.
The Hampden Energy Forum, established in 2007, has grown into a community self-help scheme that involves nearly everyone in the settlement, growing from a small group of enthusiasts who were concerned about the future of small rural communities in „post-oil“ days. At the inaugural meeting to establish the Forum, more than one third of the town’s population attended. The forum won the Trustpower Community Award in 2008.