Waihi Scenic Walks
The coastal scenic walk from the north of Waihi Beach to Orokawa Bay is a 90-minute round trip and well worth the effort. Orokawa Bay is a scenic reserve with 145 hectares of native bush containing native kauri and puriri trees. At the halfway point, walkers arrive at picturesque and secluded Orokawa beach, perfect for relaxing, fishing or for picnicking beneath the over-hanging Pohutukawa trees. William Wright Falls is roughly 1.5 kilometres inland from Orokawa Bay and spills over a 28-metre sheer rock face.
Homunga, situated 90 minutes farther north along the coast, is another beautiful bay known for its dense Pohutukawa forest. It can be reached via track from the northern end of Orokawa Bay. This track is not as well developed as the one from Waihi Beach to Orokawa Bay but provides spectacular views and interesting terrain.
Beautiful Karangahake Gorge has an historic walkway which is approximately 4.5 kilometers in length, suitable for both pushchairs and bicycles. It takes between 90 minutes and two hours to complete depending on your level of fitness, or there is a shorter track that takes about one hour.
The walkway follows the Ohinemuri River to the Owharoa Falls and then continues to the Victoria battery site at Waikino with a picturesque picnic and swimming spot along the way. Visitors follow a railway dating from the 1900s on a walk that includes a one kilometer-long brick tunnel, railway and swing bridges, many old mining relics and, of course, spectacular scenery.
Don’t forget to do the Windows Walk. This is the area’s most popular attraction. A 45-ish minute track packs in a heap of sights, goldfield ruins and relics, tramways, bridges, and info panels. This is one of New Zealand’s finest and most unique short walks – the kind you’ll tell your friends about! Bring a torch for the short tunnels (especially to explore side-tunnels). At the carpark check the mapboard, head over two bridges then soon left and up the stairs. Walk through all the tunnels, cross the river and return on the opposite side.
The Tuahu Track near Katikati is another great scenic walk in our area. The main feature of the Tuahu Track is a magnificent kauri tree by the same name. Around 20 minutes in, a side track leads to a platform surrounding Tuahu, one of the largest kauri trees in the Bay of Plenty. This walk is easily accessible on a well maintained track about a 45 minute return walk from the carpark at the end of Hot Springs Road near Katikati.