From Napier, follow State Highway 2 north for two hours.
- The lighthouse was shifted to Wairoa from Portland Island at the tip of Mahia Peninsula.
- The third Wairoa bridge. The other two were washed away.
- If you're really lucky occasionally sharks swim up the river
- Go to the restored fantastic Gaiety Theatre and watch a movie on the second largest screen in New Zealand.
- Chase the wild birds on the Marine Parade. The marine parade isn’t actually beside the sea, but it is where the river widens before forming a lagoon. All sorts of interesting stuff (100 year old trees and the like) get washed down the river.
The town has four ATM machines but it’s probably not a good idea to carry too much cash with you. Many merchants in the surrounding region do not have EFTPOS meaning you need to pay in cash. The town has a few boutique shops that are owner-operated and the town is virtually untouched by large chain stores.
Food in Wairoa is mostly good, as it reaps the quality benefits of being near the East Cape.
- Oslers bakery is consistently exceptional. On average it has the best pies (a meat filling packed inside pastry) available anywhere in New Zealand. A must stop. Last count they had about 56 pie awards. Many diverse flavours such as 'Boil up' (reflecting the local culture), 'Ostrich' and 'Cock' (trust them, they are the experts). It can be found on the marine parade, just down from the Westpac bank.
- Go to Tickled Pink Cafe for a yum feed!
- Three Oaks Motel, 42-47 Campbell Street, +64 6 838 8204, email@example.com. As you enter Wairoa there is a sign for it. Bookings generally not necessary.