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Sunday drive: Waiwera

(Rodney News Archive – NZ Herald)

At just 47 km from central Auckland on the Hibiscus Coast, Waiwera is a doozy of a day trip.

If you time your journey right, you can easily be there in under three-quarters of an hour – although it might be wise to press on as far as Puhoi because its Farmers’ Market, on the last Sunday of each month, is amazing.

With your picnic sorted, head back to Waiwera (Maori for hot water), home to the famous Waiwera Thermal Resort, where you can while away the entire day in its geothermal waters – swimming, soaking, basking or hydrosliding. It even has a movie pool.

If you start to go a bit pruney, you might fancy a bit of dry land and Wenderholm Regional Park, just north of Waiwera, is the perfect place to stretch your legs and use its public barbecues.

Some say picturesque Wenderholm has the best example of a mainland coastal forest you’ll see in the country. It includes several pretty walking tracks, including the perimeter walk and the lookout track.

The views are amazing, but be warned, both tracks contain steep segments.

Wenderholm is also heaven for bird-watching, walking, boating, swimming, fishing and diving.

You’ll be hard-pressed to do all those things in one day, but that’s okay as you can always get good bed and breakfast accommodation at Mahurangi West, just a couple of kms up the road.