Wairoa’s hidden delights. See the lineup of amazing locations in the 'photo' section
Picturesque and friendly, the Wairoa District has a population of just over 8000, but thousands more describe it as home. It is a remarkable spot that offers something for everyone. A beautiful river borders the main street, which caters for op-shopping, urban coffee lovers and intrepid travellers who prefer to shop for the rugged wilderness adventures of hiking, fishing and camping.
People can enjoy the walkway and cycleway that stretches the length of the town riverbank right to the river mouth. Now an additional gem is being revitalised on the outskirts of the township — Whakamahia Beach, where the Wairoa River meets the Pacific Ocean. With its rugged coastline and wetlands, this part of the town has until recently been a bit of a secret. But now, more and more it is being enjoyed by visitors and locals alike.
The Wairoa River attracts water sports enthusiasts from around the country who row, sail, paddle in waka ama or take part in the annual Bridge to Bridge water ski event. There are plenty of places to grab a bite, enjoy a coffee or sit beside the river and make use of the town’s free WiFi. Children can enjoy playgrounds or bring their scooters and skateboards to the skate bowl beside the community centre which is big enough for everyone from toddlers to teenagers to enjoy. There are bush walks, beautiful sandy beaches, rugged coast line, waterfalls, hot pools, caves and much more to explore further into the hinterland that surrounds the area.
Today, Wairoa is so much more than just a pie stop between Gisborne and Napier. Everything that takes place in the district is flavoured by the strong cultural influence of the Maori heritage that beats at the heart of the community. Maori make up 60 percent of the population. The area has 38 operational marae, numerous iwi and hosts the annual Wairoa International Maori Film Festival.
The iconic Gaiety Theatre reopened in 2015 and this theatre with its old school charm and state of the art technology is a reflection of the Wairoa community, proud of its history with eyes fixed on its future. The Wairoa Museum located on the Main street hosts some great exhibitions - Pop in to see what is showing.
In 2017, the brand new Destination Playground was opened which has become a flying success with the ‘flying fox’ as people’s favourite attraction. With parking and public toilets available, families can enjoy a lovely day out in the shaded areas watching the kids play. And for true adventure seekers, the Wairoa Mountain Bike Park offers over 7 km of trail for beginners as well as more experienced riders.
The lively and thriving community is built around family, friendship and a love of the outdoors. An increasing number of people are choosing to live in Wairoa, where isolation barriers have been overcome by technology yet the low cost of living and relaxed lifestyle have been maintained.
Wairoa is one of the best kept secrets around. The landscapes and the people are second to none. The lifestyle is one where you can go to work during the day, have a surf in the evening and be on one of the many waterways fishing at the weekends. The Mahia Peninsula and stunning Lake Waikaremoana are right on your doorstep, what more could you ask for?! And the climate just tops it all off!
Wairoa awaits your arrival. You will come to understand what locals have known for many years — that they are on to a good thing.
Wairoa District Council www.wairoadc.govt.nz Phone: