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Waihi Beach is a coastal town at the western end of the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand's North Island. It lies 10 kilometres to the east of the town of Waihi, at the foot of the Coromandel Peninsula. The beach itself extends approximately 10 kilometres to the south with the small settlement of Bowentown at its southern end. The headland at the southern of the beach is on the northern side of the northern (Katikati) entrance to Tauranga Harbour. Waihi Beach had a population of 1773 at the 2006 New Zealand Census but that number skyrockets to 16,000 in the Summer.
Māori have lived in the region since pre-European times, with numerous pā sites within a few kilometres of Waihi Beach. There is still evidence of the old pā sites at the Bowentown end of Waihi Beach. The name Waihi ("Rising Water") is said to be named after a stream which flows into the beach, the later town of Waihi taking its name from the name for the beach.
Further mining was concentrated on the Martha's Mine operation at Waihi. From the 1880s to 1952 the Martha Mine was a world-renowned underground mine. The modern Martha Mine has operated as an open pit since 1987. An average of around 100,000 ounces of gold and 700,000 ounces of silver have been produced annually since 1988.
- Malcolm McKinnon. 'Bay of Plenty places - Waihī Beach to Bowentown', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 14-Nov-12
- History of Waihi Beach
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