Waipu & Waipu Cove

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Waipu Museum - NZ’s Best Small Museum

© Waipu Museum

Waipu lays claim to New Zealand’s ‘best small museum’ which tells the story of a great migration of Scottish Highlanders who moved from Nova Scotia and settled in Waipu in the 1850’s.

The quaint village ambience of Waipu belies the struggles of the town’s founders who migrated from the Scottish Highlands to Nova Scotia in the 1700’s then on to Waipu via Australia in the 1850’s. This remarkable journey is told in fascinating detail at the Waipu Museum, New Zealand's 'best small museum', and is commemorated each year at the beginning of January with the long running Highland Games.

This annual event which kicks off with the March of the Clans led by the Waipu Pipe Band, attracts enormous crowds of caber tossers, heavy hammer wielders, Highland dancers, musicians, followers of Celtic culture and general enthusiasts from around the world.

Enjoy a quick bite at the reknown Waipu Deli or the Waipu Pizza Barn which has yum pizza and quirky toilets.

Scramble through Waipu Caves where the 175m long main cave reveals one of the tallest stalagmites in New Zealand, a whopping 8 feet high. The huge limestone cave system covers some four square kilometres and is home to millions of glow worms adorning the cavernous ceilings and freshwater koura in the chilly pools below.