Its natural hot water supply attracts visitors
Waiwera is a beachfront resort sandwiched between the Wenderholm Regional Park and Waiwera Hill. It enjoys a safe swimming beach and large tidal estuary which is great for swimming, boating and bird life. Tucked right against the steep cliff-face is a camping ground, and overlooking the beach is one of Rodney’s first apartment blocks. While it is a particularly attractive beach, it is the area’s supply of hot water that makes this such a sought-after place to live. The first guest house to take advantage of these thermal waters was opened by Robert Graham in 1848 – New Zealand’s first spa facility. More than 50 bedrooms were added to the original building, along with a 400 metre wharf, with peacocks, croquet lawns, a bowling green, tennis courts and formal gardens. It was all destroyed by fire in 1939. The present Waiwera Infinity Thermal Spa Resort operates the hot pools and water slides. They also offer a wellness centre, spa facilites and health services seven days a week. Across the road is a restaurant and mini golf. The entrance to Waiwera also has a distinctive motel offering accommodation, and a small dairy. Waiwera is only a few minutes north of Orewa, and visitors can walk from Waiwera to the Wenderholm Reserve, perhaps pausing on the way at the pull-off area by the bridge popular with vendors selling fresh fruit and fish from their roadside vehicles.