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Explore Waihi

126 Seddon St, Waihi


Waihi – New Zealand’s Heart of Gold 

Whether it's exploring ‘all things gold’ at the Gold Discovery Centre, cycling the Hauraki Rail Trail, or taking in the breathtaking views 200m down into the open pit gold mine, Waihi is a great place to explore. Then of course there is the must-do Karangahake Gorge, the heritage Goldfields Railway and the fascinating Waihi Museum and Arts Centre. Visitors can also take an ‘inside the fence’ tour of the Martha gold mine and visit the much photographed 100-year-old Cornish Pumphouse as they walk the Pit Rim Walkway.

Steeped in history, Waihi, New Zealand’s Heart of Gold also offers a main street full of great cafés and shops.

It was the quest for gold that first brought Europeans to Waihi. In 1878 gold-bearing quartz was discovered on Pukewa spur. A decade later, Waihi was the fastest growing town in the Auckland Province - three times the size of Hamilton. The mighty Martha Mine quickly became one of the most important gold mines in the world. Today, Waihi's huge working open pit gold mine is only metres from the centre of town.

The Cornish Pumphouse stands as a landmark at the top of Waihi’s main street.

It is a relic from the historic Martha Mine, and is the only concrete Cornish Pumphouse in the Southern Hemisphere. In 2006, as modern mining expanded, the 2000 tonne Category 1 heritage building was moved 300m west from its original location to its current home.

Cyclists can extend the Hauraki Rail Trail ride by exploring Waihi’s local mountain biking and walking trails. The Martha Mine Pit Rim Walkway/cycleway is a popular walk or ride. The 4km loop track begins opposite the Waihi i-SITE, in the shadow of the Cornish Pumphouse and rises gently to the edge of the gold mine for a first glimpse into the open pit. Interpretative signs detail interesting facts about Martha Mine and the view from the top of the North wall is simply breathtaking. 

Visit the Waihi Gold Discovery Centre to uncover more about Waihi’s fascinating past, take a tour of the mine, and visit the i-SITE for local information and bookings.


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126 Seddon St, Waihi

Opening Hours:

Mon-Sun: 9am-5pm