It was once the lure of gold that enticed people to Waihi, now it is the combination of relaxed living and beautiful beaches in a historical setting. However if it's the gold you are interested in, Waihi still has a fully operational mine, snuggly hidden behind the main street of the town. The open pit mine produces more than $1 million of gold and silver each week.
Waihi is an ideal stopover between Auckland and Tauranga or en route from the Coromandel Peninsula to Rotorua. It is situated at the base of the Coromandel Ranges on the east coast at the top of the Bay of Plenty.
A stunning walkway adjacent to the river at the Karangahake Gorge connects Paeroa to Waihi. Here you will find relics of the old mining days, waterfalls, a winery, and train rides on the narrow-gauge rail.
Just out of town is Waihi Beach, with 9km of sand stretching out before you. Patrolled in the summer months, Waihi beach is a family favourite and has a repuation for being safe. At the southern end of the beach is the settlement of Bowentown. The headland divides the ocean from Anzac Bay and its calm water, attractive parks fringed by magnificent trees and great rock-fishing. Maori used the Bowentown headland area for gardening and established several pa sites now easily accessed by walking tracks.