Take a scenic train ride, hike through a rugged gorge, learn about gold mining or go for a surf in this little-known place on New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula.
Known as New Zealand's “Heart Of Gold,” Waihi has had continuous gold mining for over 100 years. The best way to get to know this town is by walking in the footsteps of New Zealand’s early gold miners.
Try out the interactive displays at the Gold Discovery Centre and learn about mining from the early years through to today. Walk across the road and stare down into the vast pit of the still functioning Waihi Martha Mine. Go for a walk along the Rim Walkway if you are feeling energetic.
Sit back and relax with a scenic ride on the historic Goldfields Railway and then take the short walk to visit the Victoria Battery Museum at the other end. The train ride takes you through rolling countryside and the volunteer staff are always happy to chat with you about the trains. Enjoy the in-depth experience of walking through a kiln tunnel.
Put on your hiking boots and head out into the natural splendor of the Karangahake Gorge. The gorge has a variety of walkways twisting through the towering walls of the gorge. The Ohinemuri River flows through the gorge, providing waterfalls and turbulent rapids. Bring a flashlight to peer into some of the old mine tunnels dotted around the area.
Take a short drive to the coast and visit Waihi Beach. With a long stretch of white sand it is ideal for a stroll, swim, surf or just to just sit back and enjoy the seaside. Bring your lunch with you or order fish and chips at a café for a beach picnic.
Browse the Artmarket for local artwork and crafts to take home as a souvenir. More than 150 artists from around the country display their works here.
Find the many treasures of Waihi at the southeastern end of the North Island’s picturesque Coromandel region. Waihi is 2 hours from Auckland and 1 hour from Tauranga by car.
Before you leave, have a meal at one of the many cafés or restaurants. It is a chance to not only savor the fresh local produce, but also to enjoy the spirit of this little town with a heart of gold.