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Originally established as a whaling station, followed by gold exploration and latterly a timber milling area. The museum, originally Waikawa school, has an extensive collection covering the local history. Dolphin Information Centre, camp site, fishing and boating.

Porpoise Bay
Home to the rare Hector's dolphin with their distinctive black and white markings. They are only found off the coast of New Zealand and total numbers are calculated as being under four thousand. Porpoise Bay is also a safe swimming spot and the dolphins may even come up to you!

Niagara Falls/Manga Piri
Named after the huge falls in North America, these must be the smallest falls you will see! The falls were the endpoint of a river highway as they could not be crossed by boat. Maori called the falls Mangai Piri, which refers to the way lamprey eels (Kana kana) wriggle up the falls using suckers to hang onto the rocks. This is a seasonal event; the eels migrate upstream to breed.

Information Centres:
  • Waikawa Museum & Information Centre


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