Waihi, at the Southern end of New Zealand's Coromandel Peninsula features the breath-taking Karangahake Gorge and the nearby white-sand stretches of Waihi Beach. The Waihi township is a thriving community with a rich history which includes over 10... Show More
Tourist Information About Waihi
Waihi, at the Southern end of New Zealand's Coromandel Peninsula features the breath-taking Karangahake Gorge and the nearby white-sand stretches of Waihi Beach. The Waihi township is a thriving community with a rich history which includes over 100 years of mining of gold and silver. The present-day mining operations (both open-cast and underground) exist alongside examples of the old methods of gold and silver extraction and are an interesting attraction for visitors along with arts and crafts, restaurants, wineries and more. There are many activities and things to see and do amongst the stunning beauty of the Karangahake Gorge, getting out into bush clad hills or surfing, paddle boarding or just relaxing on the beautiful white-sand of Waihi Beach.
Best Attractions and free things to do in Waihi
1. Cathedral Cove Boat Tour
This is the perfect activity to bring your family on any sunny day. Along our gorgeous volcanic coastline, join us as we explore Cathedral Cove, the marine reserve, and offshore islands.
In one hour, you'll see all of the attractions, including the lonely shore with its beautiful sea caves and, if the tide is perfect, a visit to the hidden subterranean blowhole. Because the boat is smack in the middle of the natural surroundings, marine life is all around and may be seen up close. Observe gannets diving into the water.
2. The Gold Rush Tour Cycle
Do you want to learn more about gold? Ride from Paeroa's ancient town across the Hauraki Rail Trail's most popular part, the awe-inspiring Karangahake Gorge, to Waihi's gold mining village. Don't worry about being rushed; you have all day to see and do some of the greatest things the Hauraki Rail Trail has to offer!
3. "Cheesy" Cycling Adventure
Take a leisurely bike through our gorgeous countryside and stop for lunch at the Matatoki Cheese Barn, which has won several awards. This is a great tour for the whole family because there are many animals to feed and pet all throughout the site. The pathway is quite easy to follow and is completely off the beaten path. Take a leisurely bike through our gorgeous countryside and stop by the Matatoki Cheese Barn Cafe for lunch. There are also farm animals nearby that enjoy being fed and handled, making this a fun activity for the entire family.
4. Hauraki Cycling Adventure
Beginning in Thames, you will bike through our gorgeous countryside, passing through tiny rural settlements and experiencing the back-country Kiwi experience. Begin your adventure with lush farmland and breathtaking vistas of the Hauraki Plains and the wooded Kaimai Ranges. As you ride to your first destination of Paeroa, the award-winning Matatoki Cheese Barn is your first stop.
5. Mining History
The Coromandel was the first spot in New Zealand where gold was discovered, sparking a rush of prospectors looking for their fortune in the deep veins of the Coromandel Ranges. The Coromandel experienced two big gold output booms between the 1860s and the 1920s.
Check out this fantastic ‘Gold rush’ biking trail where you can experience this first hand! The Golden Cross Mine was closed in 1920, but it was reopened in 1991 through 1998. The Martha Mine was closed in 1952, but it was reopened in 1987 and is still in use today!
By the time it closed in 1952, the Martha Hill Mine (named after prospector William Nicholl's sister) near Waihi had produced more gold than any other in New Zealand history, with 224,000 g of gold and 1,680,000 g of silver. Why not go visit it in Waihi?
6. Karangahake Gorge
Karangahake Gorge's trekking pathways blend history and dramatic vistas. Discover what it was like to labor underground at Mt Karangahake more than a century ago as you explore the mining tunnels, cross bridges, and witness mining relics. Be impressed by the towering canyon walls dense with native vegetation, as well as flowing waterfalls, amid the natural scenery. The Karaganhake Gorge is a must-see in Waihi!
7. Waikino Victoria Battery
The Waikino Victoria Battery, which crushed over 800 tonnes of gold-bearing stone each day in 1896, could be heard for miles. It was Australasia's largest quartz-crushing factory at the time! Today, you may stroll about the foundations or take a guided tour of the Goldfields Railway, which departs from Waihi and Waikino Station.
8. Waihi Beach
This renowned Kiwi tourist spot has a 9-kilometer golden-sand beach. It's one of New Zealand's safest surf beaches, with surf instruction and rentals available. Waihi Beach, on the other hand, is a terrific site to enjoy all of your favorite beach activities. Furthermore, the dawn from the beach is a memory that will last a lifetime!
9. Orokawa and Homunga Walkway
Orokawa Bay and Homunga Bay offer some of the nicest treks on the Waihi coast. Take a 30-minute one-way stroll from Waihi Beach's northern end to isolated Orokawa Bay, which offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Waihi Beach. There are marks indicating a trek through the wilderness from Orokawa Bay to a stunning 28m high waterfall, which takes about 40 minutes one-way. Alternatively, travel the track through deep pohutukawa forest from the northern end of Orokawa Bay to Homunga Bay.
10. Visit Bowentown
The little community of Bowentown and the towering Bowentown Heads are located at the southern end of Waihi Beach. Anzac Bay is a great place to go swimming and rock fishing near here, if you're up for it. Explore the Bowentown Domain's walking trails, which lead to old Maori pa sites with spectacular vistas. Between Anzac Bay and Shelly Bay, there's also a wonderful wooded stroll.