Just 10 minutes’ drive from Waipu Cove, the village of Waipu is a great place to spend a few hours if you feel like a break from the beach. As well as place to stock up on the essentials (there is a small supermarket, butcher, chemist, hardware store, post shop & petrol station), you can browse the antique shops, op-shops and pop-up stalls that open in the summer months, or sit down to enjoy a hearty breakfast, good coffee or top-quality restaurant dinner.
In addition to permanent shops and attractions, Waipu hosts a number of markets on a regular basis:
Waipu Boutique Sunday Market & Café – second Sunday of each month from 9am-1pm – local art & craft, food, produce, café and live music from stalls inside the Coronation Hall and along the street.
Waipu Street Market – Easter Saturday, and Sundays of Auckland Anniversary, Queen’s Birthday and Labour Weekends – food, crafts, second hand wares, music and family entertainment in the Celtic Barn, Caledonian Park and along the street.
Waipu Antiques & Collectables Fair – Sundays of Auckland Anniversary, Easter, Queen’s Birthday and Labour Weekends – a veritable treasure hunt inside the Coronation Hall.
The Waipu Museum, voted New Zealand’s Best Small Museum, is open 9:30am-4:30pm daily (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Good Friday & ANZAC Day). Right in the centre of Waipu, the Museum provides a fascinating interactive insight into the history of the Waipu area, including the settlement of Waipu by Scots Highlanders in the 1850s; and also offers genealogy assistance by appointment. The Museum shop is well stocked with high quality hand-crafted New Zealand souvenirs, gifts, books and toys; and doubles as the town’s Information Centre, with up-to date information on local activities, attractions and events.
Also available at the Waipu Museum are maps of the Waipu Heritage Trail, which takes you to all the historical places in the area.
Permanent fixtures on the Waipu Events Calendar include:
Waipu Christmas Parade - 24th December every year – a time for locals and visitors alike to get together and enjoy the parade of floats which leaves the Southern end of Waipu at 7pm and finishes at the Caledonian Park with prizes, lolly scrambles and other entertainment.
Waipu Highland Games - 1st January every year – a celebration of our Scottish heritage, games attract contestants and visitors from around the world, with events including piping and drumming, highland dancing, tossing the caber, haggis hurling and more.
Waipu Easter Carnival – Easter Saturday every year – it’s the annual fundraiser for Waipu Primary School and the whole community gets involved, with food, raffles, bric-a-brac, clothing & white elephant stalls, crazy games run by the kids and lots of other entertainment as well, culminating in the famous carnival auction at midday.
Winter in Waipu – evolved from Tartan Week and Waipu in Tartan, the month of July provides plenty of occasions for visitors and locals to don a bit (or a lot) of tartan and enjoy a whole bunch of Scottish-themed events and competitions, starting with International Tartan Day on 1 July and culminating in the renowned Art ’n’ Tartan Wearable Art Awards near the end of the month.