Karangahake and Waitawheta Gorges
Just out of Waihi you will find breathtaking walks around the Karangahake and Waitawheta Gorges and up Waihi's Black Hill.
Guided walks in the Karangahake Gorge are a great option ( see below) as you learn of the gold mining and natural history during your walk. Half and full day options are available.
Another lovely walk close to the town centre is the Haiku Pathway beside the Uretara Stream where you will find Andesite boulders etched with Haiku verses.
Day tours to the Karangahake Gorge
NZDML has recently gained Qualmark certification of their walking tours These quality tours also have one of the few Department of Conservation concessions that allow them to run guided tours into the Gorge. These walks are rich in innovative gold mining history and the torrid sequence of land occupation between the Maori and European. These events brought about the mining era after the boom had dried up in the south island.The day includes:
- Door to door pick up and return
- Exploring the dramatic Karangahake Gorge, the miners tunnels and negotiate swing bridges
- Discovering gold mining history of the late 1800's early 1900's in the Karangahake
- Information on the fauna and surrounding bush
- The track is called the Windows Walk due to the tunnels being opened up into windows to allow natural light.
- Lunch at a cafe in the Karangahake Gorge
- Visit to the Martha gold mine in Waihi
Check out images of the Karangahake Gorge
The Karangahake Gorge is only approx half an hours drive from Waihi Beach
This relatively short walk takes you from the northern end of Waihi Beach to beautiful, secluded Orokawa Bay past spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and Waihi Beach.
The Bay of Plenty Times had this to say about Orakawa
Another beautiful bay, reached by a track from the northern end of Orokawa Bay, the Homunga track is notable for dense pohutukawa forest. The track is reasonably tough, but rewarding for those who enjoy a bit more of a challenge.
Black Hill Walkway
A short walk along the banks of the Ohinemuri River to Black Hill. Extensive views of Waihi, from the sea to the Karangahake Gorge. There are many other walks available - ask us for details.
Mayor Island (Tuhua)
The Trig Walk
The Trig walk is a new walk recently added to the walks at Waihi Beach. You get to the walk by driving up Pacific Ave opposite the dairy at the end of Beach rd and parking in the car park up behind the resovoir. ( Ask Greg or Ali for directions)
You the take the bridge to your left and head up the track with the resovoir on your right hand side. The track is a reasonable challenge to most fitness levels - trainers in fine weather are more than adequate but in wet weather or after rain proper walking boots may be required. You wind you way through coastal bush accompanied by birdsong - the first time I walked the track I was accompanied by a tui choir - they were in full voice singing to each other. The walk is up definetly worth the view at the top - out to Mayor Island and down to Mt Maunganui - simply amazing - we live in a little piece of paradise.