Fodor's Expert Review Gold Discovery Centre and Gold Mine Tour
New owners Karen and Eddie Morrow manage both this and the Waihi information center (in the same location), and their enthusiasm is infectious. You can head underground to the interactive museum for an explanation of the region’s gold-mining history. The roof is lined with timbers as if you are in a real mine shaft. You can operate a compressor drill; fire the explosives; learn about local geology and the role of stamper batteries in extracting gold from rock; and understand the social upheavals of striking miners, unions, and bosses. If you want to see the real thing, take a tour (1½ hours) to Waihi’s still-working mine. Bike rental is also available here.