Heritage | Beachaven TOP 10 Holiday Park


Waihi Beach and the surrounding areas are rich with heritage and history. Waihi has a deep history as being one of the greatest gold mining districts in the world which has left unique remnants of cultural significance. You can find museums, railways, guided tours and much more near Beachaven Holiday Park. 

Bullswool Farm Heritage Park

Bullswool Farm Heritage Park is the perfect heritage destination for families. This farm has six small museums documenting farm-life in New Zealand as well as local history. From museums showcasing preserved and restored sheep sheds and milking sheds to displays all about the region's goldmining history - this place has it all. The working farm is also home to a Native Bird Reserve with a scenic 30-minute walk, playground, and a Farm Park where you can hand-feed llamas, emus and more! 

Only a 30-minute drive from Beachaven Holiday Park, this is a great place to learn about local heritage with the whole family. 

The Windows Walk

The Windows Walk is easily one of the most spectacular walks in the North Island. Windows blasted through the gold mining tunnels providing stunning bird’s eye views into the Waitewheta River. While it could be walked in 30 minutes, visitors should allow a couple of hours to fully explore and experience everything the extended loop walk has to offer.

You can take a recommended side-trip to the remains of the underground Woodstock Pumphouse. Remains of the beam engine and other machinery can be seen inside, as well as the rafters supporting the ceiling. Glow-worms are also visible.A good torch is essential for viewing this unique piece of mining heritage. Map + Info

Goldfields Historic Railway

This scenic heritage railway runs between Waihi and Waikino, carrying its passengers through historic gold mining countryside. Operating on either steam or diesel, it winds through rugged forest areas where original remnants of 19th century gold mining can still be seen today.

The train stops at the delightful Waikino Café and there are extra rides on holidays and weekends. A great day out for all the family at reasonable prices.

Phone: (+64) 7 863 9020 (Station) or (+64) 7 863 8640 (Cafe)

Karangahake Gorge

Voted as one of the 101 Must Do's for Kiwis. Many Kiwi’s will have driven through the breathtaking Karangahake Gorge but few will have ventured into the walkways, old tunnels, discovered the rich history hidden in the gorge and cycle the Hauraki Rail Trail. Not only is this one of the most stunning stretches of river in the country, it was also home to one of the busiest and most lucrative goldstrikes in New Zealand's history.

Karangahake Gorge is located on State Highway 2 between Paeroa and Waihi, about two hours drive from Auckland, or one hour from Hamilton or Tauranga. Parking is available directly off the State Highway at Karangahake and toilets, rubbish bins and basic visitor information can be accessed at the car park.

Waihi Arts Centre

The museum operates as a place for the collection, display and preservation of items of historical interest to the Waihi District, particularly items relating to the underground mining history of the area.

Gold was first discovered in Waihi in 1878 and by 1905 Waihi not only possessed the most productive gold mine in New Zealand, but was the largest gold mining town in the country and the third largest inland town in New Zealand.

The museum has several rooms devoted to underground mining history, and displays relating to the social history of the town.


Waihi Gold Mine Tours

Waihi is a gold town, and we have a fascinating and unique gold story to tell. Although mining operations are ordinarily off-limits to the public, Waihi Gold Mine Tours can take you inside the fence to experience modern-day gold mining up close.

You’ll be fitted out with safety gear as you board the 11-seater van, given a safety briefing then taken inside the security fence to view the mine operations from the best available vantage points. You’ll be shown every stage of the process from ore extraction and crushing, through to final processing. There is plenty of massive mining equipment on show too.

Tours operate seven days. 

10:30 & 12:30 + extra tours during summer.
Allow one and a half hours. Bookings recommended.