Not everyone knows how to follow the “invisible signposts” to Waihōanga, so here are a range of tools to help you find your way – including a handy map that we recommend you download now… as you’re very likely to lose signal along the way!
Address to pop into your device: 32 Waihoanga Rd, Otaki 5582
Waihoanga directions (PDF)
The Otaki Gorge Road is accessible from State Highway 1, about half way between Wellington to Palmerston North. Currently, due to the construction of the expressway there have been a few changes to the highway road lay-out.
If heading from the North: drive through Otaki township and cross over the Otaki River. The Otaki Gorge Road is the first on your left.
If heading from Wellington, you turn left into Te Horo Beach Road and then after about 50-100 metres turn right to take the over bridge. This joins onto School Road and then you follow the usual directions to Waihōanga. Please also note that currently, when you enter 32 Waihōanga Road into google maps tells you to go all the way up to Ōtaki Gorge Road (just south of Ōtaki township). This is not only the long way round but it is also a difficult turn, so please take the Te Horo Beach turn-off.
Once on the Otaki Gorge Road, drive through an arch of trees and along the road until you reach a large suspension bridge on your left. (You may notice that the white line down the centre of the road ends at this point.)
Cross the suspension bridge.
Take the first right after the bridge. This is Waihoanga Road.
Follow Waihoanga road for about 200 metres until you come to a group of letterboxes on your right hand side and a sign saying Waihōanga Retreat Centre.
Take the right hand track, signposted to the lodge.