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”.