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Waihi Beach

4.8
Waihi Beach is a coastal town at the western end of the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand's North Island. It lies 10 kilometres to the east of the town of Waihi, at the foot of the Coromandel Peninsula. The main beach itself extends approximately 10 kilometres to the south with the small settlement of Bowentown at its southern end. The headland at the southern of the beach is on the northern side of the northern (Katikati) entrance to Tauranga Harbour. Waihi Beach had a population of 1773 at the 2006 New Zealand Census but that number skyrockets to 16,000 in the Summer.At the northern end of Waihi Beach, the Orokawa Scenic Reserve offers several short walking tracks along the coast and to Orokawa Bay. While the main beach is backed by the residential area of the township of Waihi Beach, Orokawa Bay is undeveloped and surrounded by native bush including pohutukawa, puriri, and nikau palms.Waihi Beach boasts a number of cafes, eateries, the Waihi Beach Hotel built in 1967, two holiday parks, and the Athenree mineral hot springs near by.HistoryMāori have lived in the region since pre-European times, with numerous pā sites within a few kilometres of Waihi Beach. There is still evidence of the old pā sites at the Bowentown end of Waihi Beach. The name Waihi ("Rising Water") is said to be named after a stream which flows into the beach, the later town of Waihi taking its name from the name for the beach.Nearby Waihi is well known for the gold and silver mining operation at Martha Mine and several underground mines.
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