The best travel advice I ever got from my dad was to “ask a local”. So, with that in mind, we asked Waihi Beach local Cindy Clare to ask some locals what they love about Waihi Beach, where they eat, grab their favourite coffee or take friends.

Jon from GoodSorts Food loves the natural playground of Waihi Beach. When he isn’t creating sexy sandwiches and other delish treats in his food truck in the village, he spends most of his time outdoors—paddle boarding, biking and jogging. When friends come to town, he gets them out into the surf and to his favourite coffee spot, Little Miss Jays organic coffee truck, where the coffee is unreal and always served with a smile. He also loves a sweet fix from Chez Moi, Waihi Beach’s very own chocolatier store which he says is like “having a little slice of Europe right here in town”.

Ines, from Chez Moi, hails from Switzerland and trained there as a professional baker, pastry chef and confectionary maker. She decided to bless Waihi Beach with her delicious chocolate-making skills in 2016. She had travelled New Zealand several times but was drawn back to Waihi Beach due to its “beach and bush” feel and supportive community. In her down time, Ines explores the various area hikes, in particular the walk down to Cave Bay at Bowentown then hitting the calm water in the bay for a dip. The Surf Shack Eatery, Ines says, is her pick for a hearty brekkie or lunch, where she loves the “honest food” and unique selection.

Karen and Alan from Waihi Beach Home Hardware  keep locals and visitors alike stocked with all the things you forget you need or you simply want— from DIY supplies, kitchenware, plants, fab homeware gifts even fresh coffee beans! After holidaying in the area for 25 years, they decided to make it their permanent home and haven’t looked back. Karen enjoys the various yoga, pilates and wellness offerings in the community, and both escape on their bikes to the many trails in and around the beach. When it comes to food, “Flat White Cafe is our pick for the exceptional location and menu” says Alan, “or the RSA with that unbeatable view and all-round hospitality the whole family loves”.

Aidan Comrie is a Waihi Beach native. Born and bred at Waihi Beach, he established the Waihi Beach Surf School and spends most of his time in the surf teaching and mentoring young surfers. He remembers the time when Waihi Beach was lacking in even a decent coffee shop.  “That’s no longer the case.” He smiles. “I’m now spoilt for choice with over ten superb cafes around the area and five in the village itself. You can’t beat the Flat White, Surf Shack, and I also love to take the family down to Waihi Beach Hotel where the new Italian restaurant menu is deliziosa or to have a beer in the back garden where there is a playground and space for the kids to run around,” says Aidan.

Creative duo Jayne and Sheryl recently opened a new labour of love—Unravelled, a knitting and crochet haven where you can purchase beautiful yarn, patterns and also participate in hands-on workshops. Both are passionate about pooches too, and so believe Waihi Beach is the best place to visit and live with dogs, as you can walk your dogs on the beach off-leash almost year-round (over peak season, there are limited hours on the beach).  Jayne’s fav escape is to ride her bike to Anzac Bay but often gets waylaid by a shandy at the Boat Club or a pizza and some live music at The Bowentown on Fridays. But they both exclaim that the perfect evening with friends for them is a good old beach barbie on the deck with locally sourced produce. “You can’t go past the award-winning sausages and huge range of meat, seafood and condiments at the Waihi Beach Butchery complemented with freshly supplied veggies from the Beach Road Garden Centre!” Jayne exclaims.


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