Waihi 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 forest on its doorstep. There is a vibrant cultural scene with a perfect art gallery in Waihi to potter. Pahi is home to a well regarded local research centre largely managed by volunteers who assiduously ensure the past is recorded, the environment is documented and you know what your neighbours did. Definitely worth a day or two exploring the district.
Where is Paeroa
On State Highway two
Waihi to Paeroa is a mere 20 minutes.
L & P Lemon and Paeroa drink bottles
Standing at 7 metres and 1.3 metres girth you can’t miss the next big thing in Paeroa. OK, you’ve stopped for a selfie against New Zealand’s L&P brown bottle and bought a drink at the local dairy (convenience store). There is more to the place than a slightly faded next big thing. Local drink manufacturing of Lemon & Paeroa ceased. Lemon & Paeroa, also known as L&P, created in 1907, it was traditionally made by combining lemon juice with carbonated mineral water from the town of Paeroa, but is now owned and manufactured by multinational Coca-Cola. now owned by Lemon & Paeroa Wikipedia.
Paeroa Historical Museum
Fascinating and humbling when passionate locals value records.
The museum is a repository of the Paeroa Gazette from 1896 to 1996, as well as supporting books and magazines, and its own annual publication The Ohinemuri Regional Historical Journal. The Ohinemuri Journal is fascinating and provides a window into the effects required to support historical documentation, environmental activism and generally the well-being of the district. There is a beautiful collection of over 500 pieces of Royal Albert porcelain, local Maori and European artefacts, the Dufty Shell Collection, and a display of shops c.1910. They provide a complete picture of the development of the town and surrounding districts. Journal records are now online (a massive effect by volunteers and individuals passionate about historical record) Ohinemuri Regional History Journals.
Organisation details and opening hours. Contact directly for up to date information.
Open: Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm Other times by arrangement.
Find out what it’s like to be a gold minerFind Out More Gold Discovery Centre
Paeroa maritime museum
The cruise is more of a promise. Yet we want to be one of the first people on a riverboat cruise. The river is perhaps not quite as wide and grand as The Murray (Australia) however it will be fun. Visitors will soon be able to cruise into Paeroa by riverboat. Hauraki Rail Trail cyclists and visitors can take a cruise on a restored heritage riverboat. The Historical Maritime Park’s project has begun. The project includes a riverboat (already purchased and currently awaiting refurbishment). THE TOWN’S EARLY DAYS, On Junction of Two Rivers … “Paeroa has copied the example of more famous predecessors by planting itself at the confluence of two rivers, the Ohinemuri and the Waihou.
The former, which at times has been called a dirty ditch, is spanned at Paeroa by a substantial bridge. It was, indeed, sixty years ago a beautiful river, a waterway that enabled small steamers from Auckland to discharge their freight into what was then the very heart of the embryo town, withal, a stream as limpidly crystal almost as its spring in the mountains from which it debouches a few miles east of Waihi. Yes, this is the Ohinemuri River” from The Ohinemuri River and Paeroa.
Martha Mine Pit Rim Walk
Martha Mine Pit Rim Walk is an easy flat walk where visitors survey the vast cavern that is an open pit gold mine. It is dramatic and gets everyone thinking about how the nineteenth miners simply sluiced away entire hillsides, valleys and landscapes to extract gold.
Waihi Arts Centre and Museum
The Waihi Museum operates as a place for the collection, display and preservation of items of historical interest to the Waihi District, particularly items relating to mining. The era 1880’s to 1950s is thoroughly documented with photographs, personal narratives and the story of mining in the district. The museum is a great place for kids and families as the interactive exhibits will interest all age groups.
Waihi Arts Centre and Museum highlights
- A replica underground tunnel
- Detailed models
- Items from mining and associated activities
- An extensive rock collection
- The cells where, in 1912, striking miners were jailed
- Friday: 10.00am – 3.00pm
- Saturday – Monday: 12.00 to 3.00pm
Waihi Arts Centre (part of the Waihi Museum)
Gallery, exhibition centre and a venue to curate emerging and established local artists. Artists such as Smither, Hanly, Spicer and Brickell have exhibited and their work forms part of the permanent exhibitions. It is an exciting opportunity to view works in a small regional town together with the two informative museum collections in Waihi and Paeroa.
Bullswool Farm Park
Bullswool Farm Park is a tourist attraction that continues to receive good reviews. It is a combination of ethnographic museum, a number of rooms decorated in nineteenth century artefacts and models together with farm animals, cafe and an adjoining bush reserve full of birdsong. The Bush Discovery Walk and Gold and Kauri Bullswool Farm Heritage Park – An authentic Kiwi Experience, The tourist venture sits alongside a working farm that has been in the family for three generations. The Farm offers an authentic taste of Kiwi farm life.
Bullswool Farm Park highlights
- Early NZ Milking Shed
- Kauri Museum
- Early NZ Farm Tools
- Working Horses of NZ
Arkwrights Antiques in Paeroa is quirky. The place is stacked to the rafters with finds, collectables and bits and pieces from your Aunt’s garage sale. For second hand shoppers, vintage find browsers this is a great place to get lost in.
Mikkelsen Gallery is the studio and exhibition center for one of New Zealand’s premier mosaic art artists. Periodically there are workshops as well as other artists contributing to the public spaces. The artistic themes are native New Zealand or historical themes in glass, tile and found objects. Physical Address Con Kiernan studio is, 87 Old Waitekauri Rd, Waikino RD2, Waihi 3682.
The Cornish Pumphouse
The Cornish Pumphouse is a relic of the original mine in Waihi – the richest gold mine in New Zealand (1878-1952). Water was the ingredient used to blast and pulverized rock into fragments for the chemical processes needed to extract gold. The pumps were needed to cope with the ever increasing quantities of water as the mine workings followed the gold-bearing quartz reefs to a final depth of 600 metres. In 1987 the area was fenced for public safety. The Company carried out planting in the area, and provided a car park, access track and a viewing platform overlooking the open pit.
Today the remains of the pumphouse are protected by the Historic Places Trust and the building is a Waihi landmark and tourist attraction. For more information check out Cornish Pumphouse.
Getting to 10 things to do in Paeroa & Waihi
BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE