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Destination guides > Pacific Islands > New Zealand > Northland > Waipu


Tiny Waipu’s claim to fame, as it were, is its long and proud Scottish tradition. It was settled in the 1850s by a group of Highlanders who migrated via Nova Scotia, and the town has maintained a strong Scottish identity ever since. There are regular events such as Scottish Country Dancing in the town, and every January since 1871 the Caledonian Society holds Highland Games. The games feature piping and drumming competitions, as well as heavyweight events like the hammer throw and sheaf toss.

Waipu Museum tells the story of the town and its settlers for the truly interested; there’s also a good deal of genealogical information collected here for anyone with a family connection to Waipu.

Other activities around Waipu include surfing and swimming at Waipu Cove, and the glow-worm rich Waipu Caves.


Waipu is 40km south of Whangarei.

Practical information

Waipu Information Centre

There’s a small information centre at the Waipu Museum, although the information is rather limited.

36 The Centre, Waipu
Tel (09) 432 0746
Website www.waipumuseum.com
Open 9.30am-4.30pm daily

Waipu Off-Licence

Waipu’s off-licence also doubles as an internet café so you can check your email when you pop in for a six-pack.

15-17 The Centre, Waipu
Tel (09) 432 0225
Open Mon-Thu 9am-6.30pm, Fri-Sat 9am-7.30pm


Internet access is also available in the visitor information centre at the Waipu Museum (36 The Centre, Waipu).

Hostel accommodation

Waipu Wanderers Backpackers

25 St Mary’s Road, Waipu
Tel (09) 432 0532

Sightseeing, museums & tourist attractions

Waipu Museum

This interesting museum makes a big deal about the town’s Scottish heritage
with displays explaining about the migration of Scottish Highlanders who moved from Nova Scotia to New Zealand where they established Waipu. There is a genealogy centre on site where you can dive into your family’s history.

36 The Centre, Waipu
Tel (09) 432 0746
Website www.waipumuseum.com
Admission $8
Open 9.30am-4.30pm daily

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