In 1842, Scotsman Robert Graham arrived in New Zealand aboard the Jane Gifford. In 1845 he bought land in Waiwera, after hearing much about the remarkable properties of the thermal springs, and soon set about building a hotel and resort.

Waiwera soon became a place of pilgrimage for holidaymakers from all walks of life. Princes and common folk alike were drawn to the resort in search of the authentic New Zealand experience.

Graham learned the Māori language to the point of fluency, and over time his reputation grew throughout the country and he became known for his respectful dealings with the local culture.
In 1875, Waiwera water was first bottled in its distinctive Georgia Green bottle and promoted as ‘the elixir of life’. Nurtured by Māori legend, a new tradition was born. The popularity of the resort grew steadily, attracting daily ships full of people from as close as Auckland, and as far away as London.
Fast forward to the 21st century. Today, Waiwera is livelier than ever, eager to put New Zealand back on the world stage. Again.