Known as the gateway to the Coromandel Peninsula as well as the Bay of Plenty, Waihi boasts spectacular scenery, historical sites, numerous outdoor activities and a variety of fine restaurants, café’s and sightseeing options.
There are a lot of reminders of the gold mining days of the 1800’s and even today, gold and silver mining continues to play a major role in Waihi’s economy. Tours of the mine are available Monday to Friday, and a lookout provides spectacular views of the opencast mine area.
Visitors to Waihi can enjoy the beautiful Karangahake Gorge, just minutes away, with stunning river walks set among the bush clad hills and many swimming and rest areas. Fantastic coastal walks north of Waihi Beach offer fabulous ocean and stunning forest views.
If golf is your thing, try the beautiful Waihi Golf Course less than 10 mins from Athenree Hot Springs.
Together with the myriad of historical attractions and variety of sporting and adventure activities, Waihi offers something interesting for everyone.
While staying at Athenree Hot Springs & Holiday Park, you don’t want to miss visiting nearby Waihi Beach.
Many folk choose to walk across the estuary from the holiday park to Waihi Beach at mid-to-low tide (about 7 min). Or take a 5 min drive to Waihi Beach.
This fantastic ocean beach offers 8km of unspoilt white sand and is one of New Zealand’s safest swimming beaches. It is great for walking and enjoying the fresh sea air! Gather your own tuatua, a delightfiul local shellfish delicacy.
Waihi Beach is popular with surfers, boogie boarders, kayakers and kite boarders. The charming little town has some unique pottery, art and craft shops, as well as a number of great cafes.
At the north end of Waihi Beach a track crosses the headland to Orokawa Bay. Here you will find a very scenic beach with many beautiful Pohutukawa trees - a fantastic picnic spot!
The historical settlement of Bowentown is located at the southern end of the beach. Anzac Bay is known for its peaceful, sheltered beach on the Tauranga Harbour. A short walk north over the headland leads you to the delightful Shelly Bay - a tranquil picnic spot far from the madding crowd.
Katikati is a relatively small town but it is rapidly gaining popularity. Artists from all over the world are attracted to Katikati’s open air art, murals, sculptures and festivals.
Known as the Mural Town, Katikati is full of decorative walls and buildings portraying scenes of the history of the area.
It is also home to the Haiku walkway - a 1.5km path running alongside the Uretara stream. Huge stream boulders, inscribed with Haiku written by national and international poets, border the path.
Just past Katikati, you’ll find one of New Zealand’s finest award-winning vineyards, Morton Estate. Door sales and wine tasting are available seven days a week.
Visit the Morton Estate Wines website for more information.
Another interesting place is the Katikati Bird Gardens. This extensive park is a home for over 50 varieties of birds - including colourful exotics, native Keas, the Canadian Emu and talking Cockatoos.
The impressive Fairveiw golf course can be found at the southern end of Katikati township with a fabulous cafe open 7 days.
Katikati is well worth a visit while staying at Athenree Hot Springs & Holiday Park and it is only a short drive away.
Tauranga & Mt Maunganui
Tauranga, set at the entrance of New Zealand’s most important export harbour, is one of the fastest growing areas in the country.
It offers big city lifestyle at its own easy pace and is famous for the sun, sand, sea and the many places to eat and shop.
There is a growing range of cultural activities, events and festivals organised here, including the National Montana Jazz Festival every Easter.
Cruise ships often visit Tauranga and nearby Mount Maunganui in the summer and it’s a very popular place with those who love spending their leisure time on the water.
Two large marinas hold over a thousand yachts. Many charter boat operators take keen game fishers out to the internationally renowned deep see fishing waters of the Bay of Plenty and scuba diving is enjoyed by many.
Tauranga is approximately 40 minutes drive from Athenree Hot Springs & Holiday Park.
The Coromandel Peninsula has majestic mountains and a stunning, isolated coastline. With all the native bush and forests, this is one of the most beautiful, unspoiled regions of New Zealand’s North Island.
The winding roads and charming tiny townships hidden around make this once busy gold-mining and kauri-logging area a must-see.
And there are some natural wonders here that you won’t see anywhere else in the world. Hot Water Beach at Hahei is just one example.
Take a trip to the wonderful rock formations called Cathedral Cove or visit beautiful Whitianga and take a two-minute ferry crossing from there to Cooks Beach, a popular holiday spot that would take an hour to get to by road. Kayak and snorkel around secluded coves, or take an unforgettable one-hour train journey through lush Kauri forest on the Driving Creek Railway.
And when touring the peninsula, also be sure to visit Coromandel Township, a beautiful town with many quaint and older styled buildings that underline the laid back lifestyle here.
The team at Athenree Hot Springs & Holiday Park are always happy to help you plan day trips - just come and see us at reception or contact us here.