Top
Five things to do in Wairoa
Five things to do in Wairoa

Five things to do in Wairoa

A service town that supports the agricultural sector Wairoa is not usually viewed as a tourist destination. The town, similar to many rural communities, has witnessed a decline in the main street retail sector. There has been an issue with gang violence which has marked Wairoa in the country’s newspapers as a place steeped in criminal activities. Yet Wairoa is more than headline news. Wairoa’s main street borders the Wairoa River making it an attractive place to stretch the legs, take a break from the drive from or to Lake Waikarimonana. Wairoa is often a rest stop for drivers. Yet there is more to Wairoa than a coffee break. The Wairoa regional museum is definitely worth a browse through while the Wairoa Riverside Lighthouse is a photo moment. The town of Wairoa got its name from the “Te Wairoa Hōpūpū Hōnengenenge Mātangi Rau” river which in Māori language means “the long water which bubbles, swirls and is uneven”.

1
Wairoa Gaity Theatre

Wairoa Gaity Theatre is cheerfulness bottled into a theatre in a town where heritage, history and current economic losses are etched into the town’s streetscape. If you are in town overnight the Gaity Theatre is a definite option. Check out what is at the Gaiety Theatre, grab some popcorn and settle down to enjoy a night at the cinema. The theatre is supported with a cadre of passionate volunteers. Gaiety is home to the longest running Maori Film Festival. Perhaps you will even want to stay a few days in Wairoa. A welcome will be part of the package deal.

2
Wairoa Lighthouse

Wairoa’s iconic building, the Wairoa Lighthouse. The lighthouse sits on its own created rocky space next to the Wairoa bridge and alongside the river. It’s a good place for photo opportunity as well as a distinctive feature of the Wairoa river walk. It’s best seen at sunset when the light of the lighthouse starts to blink.

3
Riverside walk

The Riverside walk is a meandering walk of approximately 1 ½ hours starting from the Wairoa Lighthouse. The walk follows the southern bank to Pilot Hill. Pilot Hill summit has sweeping views of the estuary and coast. WAIROA river mouth is a classic estuary with currents, eddies and abundant birdlife flourishing in the shallow tidal waters.

4
Te Reinga Falls

Te Reinga Falls, is it worth the journey of 1 hour? The nondescript reserve leads to a 10 minute walk to the Falls. Unfortunately the views are not the best for the truly magnificent flow of water over several escarpments. Safety is a priority and a recently constructed stout wooden fence stops the adventurous visitor from rock climbing for a better peek at the Falls. For avid waterfall buffs definitely worth the detour. For others enjoy the photographs especially of Edwardian ladies perched on a rock with glorious front row seats to the Falls. The reserve plaques provide an insight into the geological formation of the Falls, historic photographs and safety information.

Te Reinga Scenic Reserve Walk: Gisborne area walks and tracks, Located 35 km inland from Wairoa, just off SH36 (Tiniroto Road). Turn onto Ruakituri Road at Te Reinga, cross the bridge over the river. The car park is at the western end of the bridge.

Duration: 1 hour (from Wairoa)

5
Coffee break

Coffee break destination in Wairoa is the classic small town bakery of check out the photographs of the bakery festooning the walls. It is a snapshot of the town’s history if the museum is closed. The coffee is great, there are kiwi favourites such as sausage rolls, freshly baked goods such as laminations, custard squares and gooey cheesecake slices. Ask for a paperbag and cross the road to the riverside for an impromptu picnic on the river banks with the locals.

TIP: Observe the side streets for street art to liven up commercial buildings. Nothing like a lick of paint and design to add colour to the townscape.

The journey is worth it.

Related Articles

Buried village exacavted whare (Maori dwelling house), New Zealand

Rotorua Buried Village the story of the Tarawera Eruption

A working archaeological village is New Zealand’s Pompeii, a village buried under the ash and pyroclastic flow of the 1886 Mt Tarawera volcanic eruption. The eruption ende ...

Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, North Island, New Zealand

Rotorua Ohinemutu Heritage Village & St Faiths Church

Ohinemutu is a heritage village with occupation reaching back hundreds of years. The warm geothermal waters provided steam to cook, bath and heat houses. The village is a li ...

Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, New Zealand @Mapio.net

Ten quirky Tararanki places worth a detour

Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, New Zealand @Mapio.net Taranaki is a treasure trove of New Zealand history reaching back over 1000 years with heritage Pa sites to explore, blockhouses f ...

Egmont National Park, New Zealand @Thousand Wonders

Ten outdoor things to do in New Plymouth

Cape Egmont Lighthouse, New Zealand @New Zealand The quiet province that is a detour. The place is a rounded bump on the east coast of the North Island, it is very easy to si ...

@Hollard Gardens

Ten Taranaki Gardens and Parks worth a detour

The ten gardens are both privately owned and public spaces for visitors to enjoy. Perhaps the private garden you have put at the top of your bucket list is not open. This me ...

Tokaanu Jetty, New Zealand @Love Taupo

Twelve places worth a detour Taupo & Central Plateau

Adrenaline thrills squeezing through hidden gorges to secret hot waterfall pools or floating down the Waikato to Ōtumuheke Stream hot mineral water is Taupo fun. Opepe Rese ...

Ten short easy Coromandel walks

Explore historic logging trails where kauri was extensively milled and gold mining relics. You have opportunities to swim beneath a waterfall or to walk among the giants of ...

@Oakura Beach Holiday Park@@

Ten perfect reasons to go camping in Taranaki

Summer holidays in Taranaki are defined by beaches and camping at the beach. New Plymouth, Fitzroy Beach, TOP10 and Belt Road Seaside are favourite destinations for generati ...

@top10

Seven places to go camping in Taupo

Central North Island, Taupo, Tongariro and the lakes district is a quintessential New Zealand summer holiday experience. The freshwater lakes, opportunities to catch a trout ...

Karangahake Gorge, New Zealand @Stuff

Ten reasons to visit Kaimai Mamaku Conservation Park & Karanganhake Gorge

Karangahake Gorge & Kaimai Mamaku Conservation Park An area quietly slumbering in the valleys of the Coromandel. It is all too easy to keep on driving through the gorge ...

L&P Bottle, New Zealand @ The Coromandel

Ten things to do in Paeroa & Wahi

Wahi and Paeroa are fascinating with detours into gold mining history, the only active gold mine in the country and it has visitor tours, quirky shops and a spectacular fore ...

Street art pacific theme, New Zealand

Coromandel Art Escape Weekend

The Coromandel art scene explodes with colour and vitality every year on art escape weekend. A great weekend road trip for culture fans and art collectors. ...

Four special places to visit in the Aongatete Forest, Kaimi Ranges Conservation Park

Volunteers the backbone of conservation, the passionate individual who gives time freely. This article is unashamedly promoting the work of the Aongatete Forest Trust. About ...

Hamilton hot air balloons

Five activities to brighten up your Hamilton trip

Hamilton is the underdog city in Aotearoa NZ. Banter, wry humour is often Hamilton’s calling card. Think again, New businesses are popping up, the food scene is booming, a ...

@tearohaholidaypark

Twelve places to go camping in the Waikato and Central Plateau

Perhaps you want to pitch a tent and a powered site is not necessary. Or a little comfort is in order with a standard cabin together with an ensuite facility. Holiday parks ...

Tongariro River, New Zealand

National Trout Centre Turangi: what to see

I think it is a place where drivers keep on driving on their way south? Stop, check it out and be surprised. National Trout Centre is a practi ...

Abandoned ghost towns

NZJane has a fascination with the emptiness, disappeared people, disappeared life, just empty decaying buildings.  I wonder what happened that a place is deserted and now a ruin. ...

0

post a comment