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Chemin menant à la seconde plage Orokawa beach

Waihi beach

Located to the east of the North Island, Waihi beach is in the South of Coromandel. Located at 10km from the city Waihi, the beach is a tourist spot in high season. With a length of more than 10km,with lots of activities such as surfing, windsurfing, etc … In the North of the beach, there is a wild zone where no house exists, the Orokawa Bay .

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waihi beach
Waihi beach

 Geology setting

Waihi beach is located in the volcanic zone of eastern New Zealand. From Karikari to Whangarei, volcanoes begin their eruptions from 23 million years ago.

Geological map of Coromandel


In addition, the Coromandel is located on a rock called the Jurassic greywacke. This sedimentary rock is derived from the light metamorphism (increase in pressure and temperature) of volcanic rocks cemented by clay

Moreover, the majority of Coromandel is also composed of Miocene rocks. Andesite and dacite erupted during the Miocene spread over more than 200km in length and 35 km in width.

As in the majority of New Zealand, we also have hot springs from magmatic activity in the vicinity of Waihi.

The hot springs come from the hot water uplift via geothermal energy whose source come from the depths of the Earth. In most cases, the temperature of the rocks of the earth’s crust increases with depth. This is called the “geothermal gradient“. In a volcanic zone like New Zealand, the water is in direct contact with a magmatic chamber. The water heats up deep and then rises to the surface with a smell of sulfur (which is often compared to an odor of rotten eggs).

Hot Water Beach
Effect of geothermal energy. Pull up of water via contact with magma

Waihi and Karangahake

Waihi is also known for its former gold and silver holdings. 30 minutes from Waihi, it is possible to reach the Karangahake Gorge. The place is beautiful and very touristy. This is the starting point for many hikes. Some even in the gorges by ancient gold and silver mines. It is strongly advised to bring a torch to go.

Karangahake Gorges


You can also visit the remains of ancient mining operations throughout the gorge with numerous explanatory panels. I advise you to look at the plan of the mines, it is so impressive to see the number of levels that the men have dug!

North of Waihi Beach

As said before, north of Waihi beach lies Orokawa Bay. By taking the hiking trail, after 30 minutes you arrive on the beach. This is the only way to access the beach, there is no other solution.

waihi beach
Path to the second beach Orokawa beach

Calm place, with much less crowded, perfect for relaxing and going for a swim. If desired, it is possible to continue walking to reach the William Wright Fall cascade. But beware the hike is in the river bed, so the path is less practicable.




 William Wright Fall
Cascade William Wright Fall


If you want to push the vice of walking, after 2-3 hours walk, you are on a secluded beach, Homunga Beach. We are really isolated! Few people who access it. You will have the pleasure of enjoying it quietly. But be careful the return is also 2-3 hours. Otherwise the trail itself runs along the coast making it beautiful and enjoyable. I encourage you to do so even if you do not wish to reach Homunga Beach.

Homunga beach
Homunga beach


“The field guide to New Zealand Geology, An introduction to rocks, minerals and fossils”; Jocelyn Thrnton, Pinguin Books

“In search of ancient New-Zealand”; Hamish Campbell & Gerard Hutching; Pinguins books

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For the time scale is here!


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