Coromandel is a well-kept secret and only a 90 minute drive southeast
of Auckland. With a gold mining history and a thriving arts community
there is plenty to see and do. Soft adventure and eco-friendly activities
are popular ways to enjoy the spectacular scenery - ancient kauri trees,
lush rainforests, craggy volcanic peaks and thermal springs.
The Bay of Plenty
has an ideal holiday environment with the clear, blue waters of the
Pacific Ocean lapping at its shores.
is the easternmost city in the world, the first to see the sun each
day. The area is blessed with true wilderness and the best beaches in
Hawke's Bay and
Gisborne are two of New Zealand's premier wine-growing districts.
See and Do
- Drop in to one
of the Country Kitchens for a home-cooked meal.
- Stop at the
largest thermal pool in the Southern Hemisphere, Miranda Hot Springs.
- Take a guided
bushwalk or wander the well-marked trails yourself.
- Put a few hours
aside to make your own bone carving in Whitianga (NZ$25).
is also an excellent base for fishing, diving, sea kayaking, dolphin
swimming and horse treks.
- Find a spot
on Hot Water Beach and dig your own thermal spa pool.
- Pan for gold
at the Coromandel Gold Stamper Battery.
- Take a ride
on potter Barry Brickell's zig-zagging narrow gauge railway to the
top of his property, Driving Creek.
- Near Driving
Creek are five lovely gardens to tour.
- Take a soft
adventure tour with Kiwi Dundee. Get in a scenic round of golf (the
Coromandel has at least ten 18 hole golf courses).
- Drop in to sample
a drop of fruit and vegetable wines at Castlerock Winery (free tastings,
7 days a week).
- Take the Coromandel
Challenge - a 4WD bike safari, a scenic boat adventure and a sky plunge
by flying fox (NZ$155).
the Bay of Plenty
- Swim with the
dolphins in Tauranga or Whakatane.
- Put aside a
half-day or full day for a deep sea fishing charter.
- Take a scuba
dive in the Mayor Island marine reserve.
- Hop in a helicopter
or on a cruise to White Island, NZ's only continually active volcano
(you can walk right into the crater area).
- For awesome
views of the coastline, put an hour and a half aside for a walk to
the top of Mount Maunganui.
- On Matakana
Island (in Tauranga Harbour) you can take a guided tour in a covered
wagon pulled by Clydesdale horses.
Gisborne and Hawke's Bay...
- Visit the vineyards
for tours and tastings.
- If you've got
four days, take one of NZ's Great Walks around Lake Waikaremoana.
With less time you can still find many short walks. Take a walk along
the longest wharf in the Southern Hemisphere at Tolaga Bay.
- Tolaga Bay (40
minutes north of Gisborne) also has NZ's finest cashmere knitwear.
- Fish, swim or
- In Gisborne
check the Smash Palace wine bar (the walls are covered in car wrecks).
- Head to Cape
Kidnappers, stopping at Clearview Winery for a seaside al fresco lunch.
- Spend some time
in the art deco city of Napier (it was destroyed by earthquake and
fire in 1931 and rebuilt in the art deco style of the period). The
Art Deco Trust has guided afternoon walks.
- Swim with dolphins
- Apart from the
many wineries, visitors are welcome at the beer and cider breweries
- Indulge in some
- Try your hand
at trout fishing in the streams and rivers around Hawke's Bay.
Itinerary 6 days
this is only a sample - once you tell us your areas of interest, we
will construct a personal, suggested itinerary for you.)
- Drive to historic
Thames (1.5 hours) along the Pacific Coast Highway for lunch before
going on to Coromandel town (1 hour).
- Browse the many
arts and crafts studios, visit Driving Creek Railway or visit some
of the lovely gardens.
- Drive to Whitianga
via the scenic 309 Road (40 minutes). Stop on the way for the 10-minute
walk to the 309 Kauris.
- Visit the white
sandy beaches of Hahei Marine Reserve. Walk to Cathedral Cove or head
south to Hot Water Beach for a thermal spa. (Check with the local
tourist information office for tide times - you can only do this two
hours either side of low tide).
- Time for a round
of golf or a spot of fishing?
- Have dinner
in one of the great seafood restaurants.
- Drive to Tauranga
(2.5 hours from Whitianga).
- Perhaps a swim
with the dolphins, a surf or a walk up Mount Maunganui.
- After lunch,
to Whakatane (1 hour) to take the launch or helicopter to explore
volcanic White Island.
- Spend a lazy
day getting to Gisborne, stopping for a beach picnic, a wine tasting
or a stroll through the Eastwoodhill Arboretum (a must for garden
- Drive south
to Morere Hot Springs (40 minutes from Gisborne).
- Have a picnic
lunch on the shores of Lake Waikaremoana (enjoy a short walk or a
- Continue south
to Napier, wander the art deco buildings.
- Explore Marine
Parade's Aquarium or take a half-day excursion to Cape Kidnappers
and the Gannet Colony.
- Spend the afternoon
on the local wine trail.
From here you are perfectly placed to continue your holiday through
Taupo, Rotorua and Waitomo before heading back to Auckland or to continue
south to Wellington.
below for a choice of accommodation options in these regions:
/ Regions / The
Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne & Hawke's Bay /
7 3876 4644
7 3876 4645