Wairoa is the gateway to northern Hawke's Bay, renowned for its great outdoors experiences and rich cultural history. Take our cues for your must do experiences and plan your summer road trip now!
No trip north is complete without covering the extra distance to Mahia Peninsula. This family-friendly holiday destination is a popular spot for those wanting a summer beach experience without the crowds. The peninsula has a number of stunning beaches that provide a natural playground if you like to surf, swim, dive and fish - here you’ll discover a mix of sandy and rocky beaches that make the perfect place to bunker down for a day or two. Top it all off with a meal and drink at the local pub or get your hands wrapped around a delicious burger at The Beach Café.
Climb Mokotahi Hill
Walking to the summit of Mokotahi Hill is a must-do while visiting Mahia Peninsula. Located on the edge of Mahia Beach, you’ll spot this incredible landmark as soon as you arrive (it’s hard to miss!). Tie up your laces for a relatively short 20-minute walk up a well-carved out track - with each step comes more epic views. Once you’ve reached the top, you can perch on a grassy spot and lap up the sweeping sight of the Pacific Ocean and rugged coastline. Mokotahi Hill is also a significant site to Ngati Kahungunu, with a long history of occupation on the site – various pits and terraces can still be seen on the hill.
Explore Wairoa township
Wairoa is truly rural Hawke’s Bay at its best! Acting as the gateway to Lake Waikaremoana, Mahia Peninsula and Hawke’s Bay’s rugged wilderness, there are so many hidden gems to uncover. Stroll along Wairoa River’s embankment, explore the delightful shops, let the kids run wild on the playground, snap photos next to the solid Kauri lighthouse and pick up a treat from one of Hawke’s Bay’s most popular bakeries – there’s so much to do!
Morere Hot Springs
Pack your swimwear and treat yourself to an idyllic dip in hot and cold springs within 364 hectares of rainforest. Soak in the sounds of songs of native birds while you’re immersed in hot ancient sea water – the springs produce 250,000 litres per day! It’s pumped into separate hot and cold baths. You can also walk on any of the tracks in the Morere Scenic Reserve, from 10-minute saunters to more intense, three-hour hikes. It’s definitely worth a visit.
Housed in the old Union Bank of Australia Building, this small yet notable museum affords a glimpse into the history of the area. The museum features photographic collections illustrating the Maori and European history of the area from 1890s through to present day. You can also discover a very strong collection of Maori taonga, New Zealand war flags from Scotland and an interactive Discovery Space including educational activities and resources.
Make it a Summer Roadie...
The drive from Napier to Wairoa via the Pacific Coast Highway is stunning with lush countryside on one side and the other turquoise waters of the pacific ocean.
Why not make it a road trip and take some scenic detours along the way.
Places to stop along the way
Tangoio Road - leads you to the beautiful Waipatiki Beach
Tutira - a beautiful little settlement with great walks and fishing spots
Putorino - the half way point between Napier & Wairoa, and the centre of the farming community
Mohaka Bridge - beautiful picnic area with spectacular views of the Mohaka Railway Viaduct
Waihua - for great picnic and fishing spots
Ohinepaka - check out Putere Lakes, Waiau River and the Waihi Hydro Scheme