Skip to content

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.

Natural Feature
“easy walking trail by the river, picnic spots. beautiful scenery need a torch to walk through the old railway tunnel”
  • 24 locals recommend
Café
“A great cafe to go to after you’ve enjoyed a soak in a Hot Pool at Hot Water Beach. Enjoy breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, set in a nice outdoor garden area, Fantastic Herbal tea selection, Delicious Allpress Coffee with Hummingbird Cake/blueberry muffins Yummy! Fantastic Art, Outdoor Play area for the children/indoor toy box. Friday nights music night. Every other day open 8.30am-4pm Free wifi. ”
  • 17 locals recommend
Establishment
“Come here is you are coming from Tauranga, again the selection is excellent and the prices reasonable.”
  • 12 locals recommend
Restaurant
$$
“The falls cafe is the most amazing place for its setting and food, that you just keep wanting to go back time after time. Its that "natural experience. The veggie garden setting under the trees, the fresh seasonal food you get served from it. its a get away from the hustle and bustle kind of place where you just linger and relax. The dining is informal, the kind that is served clean fresh and on a rustic board. Brad King is the award winning chef. I love his gourmet wood fired pizzas. The bistro is a little cottage setting under the trees with a gorgeous open kitchen so you can actually watch the chefs at work. The wood fired oven sits in the centre of the kitchen and really is the heart of the business . What Dewi and I did and recommend is to book a lunch or afternoon tea at the falls cafe, to return to after you have taken the "windows walk" in the Karangahake gorge. We ordered a sharing platter. Imagine sitting down under the trees , the breeze in your face, the kids playing found about, and sharing the chefs seasonal taster- house cured and smoked Kahawai with a smoked fish and fraiche rillet and pickled artichoke. We took a vegetarian friend and they had the light main of butternut and goats cheese stuffed portobella mushrooms served with lentils and a dhal curried pumpkin salad, pickled red onions port currants and seasonal root veg. Nice!!!! Dessert was their "zesty" pie, local lime tart with vanilla bean french cream!!!whooh yummy, mulled with poached tamarillos and ginger icecream!!!!! awesome flavours”
  • 10 locals recommend
Establishment
“It's consistently good and owners Phil and Andrea keep Tairua socialising throughout the winter months. There's often live music and the occasional local band like Fuller and the Empties or Cosha - which shouldn't be missed!”
  • 12 locals recommend
Arts & Crafts Store
“Beautiful place to shop for a piece of New Zealand art. Great garden art and glass as well as jewelry.”
  • 14 locals recommend
Café
“Great cafe for breakfast and lunch located in Whenuakite 10 Min. drive from Hot Water Beach. Only opens at 10am. Best cakes and pies in the area. ”
  • 16 locals recommend
Establishment
“There is also a train ride from Waihi too Waikino. The Station is in Station Road. There is a cafe at Waikino or you can take a walk from there too an old mine and museum.”
  • 7 locals recommend
Beach
“Hot Water Beach is a NZ must do! Best visited two hours either side of low-tide, head towards an area near the rocks with a bucket & spade and start digging! A natural hot spring running under the beach at low tide will reward you with your own heated pool. Take care as the hot water is hot! At 64° Celsius you’ll need to cool it down with some sea water. Spades can be hired at the local shop. SAFETY: Hot Water Beach has very strong currents, dangerous rips and holes which can make it unsafe. Please swim between the flags and make sure children, friends and family are supervised at all times.”
  • 81 locals recommend
Route
“Wentworth Falls Walk is a scenic bushwalk to a waterfall. It is an easy grade 3km each way track, or experienced trampers can continue on. Head through Whangamata on Port Road, continue towards Waihi, turn right onto Wentworth Valley Road after the golf course (about 8 mins from the bach). Continue to the end of the road and start your walk from the campground. www.doc.govt.nz ”
  • 8 locals recommend
Grocery or Supermarket
“They hold a good stock of groceries; fruit and vegetables and all other household requirements.”
  • 7 locals recommend
Café
“Great location by the beach. Open outside eating so can be cold on windy days. Covered patio area so you won't get wet. Food is good. Vegan cake options. Only cafe by the beach so can get VERY busy on weekends or events”
  • 10 locals recommend
Restaurant
$$
“Great location, atmosphere, casual and friendly staff. Awesome food. Check opening hours esp in winter! ”
  • 6 locals recommend
Grocery or Supermarket
“Pak'n'save is located by our mall where you will find a variety of stores including The Warehouse, MacDonalds and KFC all in the same vacinity to name a few.”
  • 7 locals recommend
Establishment
“Fantastic cafe, has excellent coffee and food. Linda the owner is a delight!”
  • 9 locals recommend
Art Gallery
“Im always telling people about this wonderful eatery I happened to find and fall in love with, then took our daughter and grand daughter too, and just keep recommending it to anyone who will listen. Why? the food is amazing. Fresh trendy wholesome. But its the setting. its kind of a 50's inspired boutique place. Its absolute history, once the National bank Gold refinery in 1914. so massive solid concrete walls, after yourve seen the moss vovered cute entrance off Willoughbu street, nos 5. thats what gets your attention first!!! go in the door, and the double height stud blows you away. The huge timber beams and Rimu roof structure certainly fits the grandeur of its original purpose.. Its a huge light filled space, and you immediately feel relaxed - lots of armchairs magazines things to look at, a roaring fire right now because its winter. In the summertime we sat out under the apple tree- it was such a quaint feeling being in the back yard. . Its like you are encouraged to read a book whilst you have your coffee. linger!!!. Ther eis even a collection of old vinyl to put on. Everything you eat looks and tastes hand made- free range eegs and bacon, local stuff, organic milk in the coffeees. No rubbish. The day i went i had a famous Beef Potato onion and cheddar pastry with a homemade beetroot chutney with a seasonal salad- absolutely tummy. And then!!! I had to have their Banana and salted caramel cake with my flat white coffee. A wonderful experience. The big news is they are NZ cafe of the years finalist!!! lets hope they bring the cup home. Now I tell all my guests to stop in at The Refinery in Paeroa on route up the Coromandel!!!! and when entering the karangahake Gorge to do the "windows Walk". A fabulous day out!!!”
  • 6 locals recommend