Just before the river reaches the ocean, State Highway 25 crosses the river over the Kopu Bridge, the longest single lane bridge in the country at 463 metres (1,519 ft) and the only remaining swing bridge on a New Zealand state highway. The bridge was infamous for the queues of vehicles travelling to and from the Coromandel Peninsula until a new two lane bridge was opened in December 2011.
The crystal-clear waters of the Waihou River provide ideal fishing. The river supports large populations of rainbow and brown trout. A survey conducted in 2009 showed that the upper section of the river supported over 700 fish per kilometre.
A painting of the Waihou River, entitled Dibsell's Landing, by John Philemon Backhouse