Waihi Beach is a favourite holiday spot and sits at the northern-most tip of our coastal region.
This beach sums up everything we love about our Bay of Plenty coastline – unspoilt white sand, good surf and plenty of room for everyone.
It will take you around 45 minutes to drive north from Tauranga where you will find a large coastal settlement and plenty of accommodation options right by the beach.
You can swim anywhere along this 9km stretch of sand but the safest swimming area is at the northern end by the Waihi Surf Lifesaving Club on The Esplanade. Trained lifeguards patrol this area in summer.
The beach slopes gently into the ocean and you can get a good distance out from shore before the water is deep enough to go over your head. Small to medium-size waves generally break evenly along this beach but the surf can get rough in certain weather so be aware of the conditions.
Waihi Beach is a great place to learn to surf. Book a lesson with a local instructor or try stand up paddle boarding if the waves are calm enough.
This is a great place to take a long walk – kick off your shoes and breathe in the fresh sea air. There’s lots of shells and driftwood to collect along your way, and seagulls to keep you company.
At the far end of Waihi Beach, just beyond the surf lifesaving clubrooms, you’ll find the start of a popular local walkway over the headland to Orokawa Bay. This 3.3km track will take around 45 minutes – 1 hour to walk and will lead you through coastal pohutukawa forest, around spectacular viewing points and along steep cliffs.
Have a picnic or swim at Orokawa Bay before making the return trip. Or, if you fancy a longer journey, continue on for another 7.8km (2 hours 45 minutes) until you reach Homunga Bay.
Back at Waihi Beach you’ll find picnic tables, park benches and a children’s playground by The Esplanade carpark. Freedom camping in motorhomes is allowed here for a maximum of three nights in any four week period and there’s a toilet block and diary close by if you want to buy a cold drink or an ice-cream.
This beach is a great day trip or holiday destination for the whole family. Have fun on the large tyre swing which dangles beneath a pohutukawa tree right on the sand, and spread out and relax in the sunshine.