Waipatiki Beach, situated 11km from SH2, is a picturesque settlement with native bush and a broad stretch of golden sand. Near the beach is a camping ground, beach picnic area and toilets.
The name Waipatiki means "water...sand flounder" and was so called because it was once an estuarine valley, and a very good place for early Maori to catch these fish.
The long steep decent to the valley brings you to the Waipatiki Scenic Reserve, a 64ha remnant of coastal forest.
In pre-European times this area was well-populated as the estuary was a rich source of flounder. However, the 1931 Earthquake lifted the flats and a stream system formed. The Waipatiki Scenic Reserve contains 64 hectares of coastal bush with nikau palms dominating the lower flat while kanuka and a wide variety of larger native trees cover the hillside.
Tui and native pigeons are plentiful. Within the scenic reserve, traces of the original pre-European foot track, which connected Napier to Wairoa, still remain. By 1860 this had been enlarged to become a bridle track which pack trains used for nearly forty years. By 1900 a dray road had been constructed inland via Tutira and the coastal route fell into disrepair. Waipatiki Domain, a small native bush area, was in danger of being eaten out by goats and possums, but with fencing and predator control the native bush has regenerated.