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Waihi is located at the Southern end New Zealand's Coromandel Peninsula and is fondly known as ‘New Zealand’s heart of gold’, for being home to the richest gold mine in New Zealand.
Surrounded by a variety of landscapes, from the stunning Karangahake Gorge decorated with its gorgeous native forests and rivers, through to beautiful stretches of pristine, white-sand beaches, Waihi provides the perfect playground to enjoy the great outdoors.
If you are looking for the ideal accommodation to explore this region, be sure to visit the Bachcare website, where you can instantly book a range of self-catered holiday homes online. A holiday home is a great place to base yourself for your stay, providing space, privacy, comfort, and great value for money!
So come and discover all the treasures Waihi has to offer….
1: Beaches - Waihi has several nearby beaches, all a short drive away. Waihi Beach is nine kilometres of sweeping white sand, and a popular beach with surfers boogie boarders and kite surfers or you can simply relax and enjoy a good book on the beach.
Just over the hill is Whiritoa Beach, a spectacular beach, popular with swimmers and surfers. The picture perfect beach is also a favourite with photographers.
An undulating walk over the hill will take you to the secluded Waimama Bay, framed in beautiful Pohutukawa trees, the white sand and crystal clear waters make this hidden gem perfect for a romantic picnic or an idyllic escape away from the rest of the world.
Whangamata is a popular kiwi summer destination for good reason, there are some lovely shops to browse, a stunning beach to enjoy swimming and surfing or for the keen boaties there are boat ramps and Jet Ski areas.
2: Karangahake Gorge - The Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway follows the old railway line between Paeroa and Waihi, where you can stroll or bike along the scenic river trails, explore old mine shafts and tunnels, and learn about the mining and railway eras. Once the site of one of the biggest goldmining operations in the Southern Hemisphere, today it is a stunning area for biking, walking, having a picnic or just to simply enjoy the natural beauty of the landscape.
3: Hauraki Rail Trail - The 82km Hauraki Rail Trail is the easiest cycle trail in New Zealand to ride, with various stages allowing riders to go at their own pace. The trail also showcases some of the most beautiful New Zealand scenery, from lush green Waikato farm lands, to the rugged beauty of the Karangahake Gorge, considered to be one of the “14 wonders of New Zealand”. The trail follows the path of two historic railway lines, running from Thames to Paeroa and Waikino to Te Aroha, with a new path linking Waikino to Waihi. There are 3 Day, or 1-Day guided tours, available or Shuttle Bus, Luggage Transfer, and bike hire service, if you choose to do it on your own.
4: Goldfields Railway - Enjoy a ride on a classic vintage train with Goldfields Railway. Trains depart Waihi for a 7km, 30-minute scenic journey to Waikino. It's possible to take bikes on the train so they can be used to further explore the Karangahake Gorge section of the Hauraki Rail Trail. The timetable varies seasonally so check the website. This is a fun little railway experience to be enjoyed by young and old.
5: Waihi Gold Mine Tours - Waihi Township has a long and interesting mining history with the Martha Mine opening in 1878 and it still produces about a million dollars worth of gold and silver every week. A Waihi Gold Mine Tour is a great way to get up close and personal to a modern-day working gold mine.
Alternatively you can explore the Martha Mine Pit Rim Walkway for yourself. The walk starts from the Cornish Pump house where the wide gravel path leads you on a gentle walk around the rim to give you impressive views over the vast crater. There are signs giving you interesting facts about Martha Mine as you complete the 4km loop back to the Pump house.
Also check out the award winning Gold Discovery Centre, where you can learn through interactive activities more about the fascinating industry of gold mining both past and present.
Come and indulge yourself in the rich history, beautiful landscapes and idyllic beaches Waihi has to offer, making it the perfect destination for all ages!
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