Discover - Coromandel and Bay of Plenty


The Coromandel is located on the Pacific Coast Highway - on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island, and is within two hours drive of the major centres of Auckland, Hamilton and Rotorua.

With 400kms of coastline it is the perfect place for a beach hopping holiday.  Laid-back, rustic and unspoilt, this is a place where you can relax, go mountain biking, walking or explore its rich gold rush history.

For those with an appreciation for art, this area is home to a thriving population of artists.

Thames is the historical main centre of the area. Other places to check out are Whitianga, Hahei, Tairua and Pauanui.

Cathedral Cove is a must see, it sits in a marine reserve which covers 840 hectares.

Make sure to check out Hot Water Beach at low tide and dig yourself your very own spa in the sand.

If you are in to surfing you won’t want to miss Whangamata, renowned for it’s amazing surf break.

Hidden away from the masses is the spectacular New Chum Beach, consistently voted as one of the world's top beaches. This stunning stretch of golden sand is fringed by Pohutukawa and native forest accessible by foot or private boat. This protected beach has no infrastructure making it the ideal place to escape.

Paeroa (home of the famous NZ soft drink L&P) is located at the base of The Coromandel and the entrance through to the Karangahake Gorge, which is incredibly popular for its gold mining history, walkways, winery, fishing, rock climbing, swimming and Hauraki Rail Trail.

Walking - For an easier cliff walk try the “Shakespeare Cliff Lookout” or for the more serious Walkers/Hikers, check out “The Pinnacles”. The Pinnacles walk is rated as one of New Zealand’s most popular overnight hikes. It can also be walked in one day (allow 8 hours).

Mountain Biking - in the Tairua Forest just outside Whangamata and the 136km Hauraki Rail Trail, which showcases some of the best scenery and is one of the easiest New Zealand Great Rides. Accessible from Kaiaua, Thames, Paeroa, Te Aroha, Waihi, and the Karangahake Gorge, the Hauraki Rail trail is an easy grade one family-friendly excursion. A great option for a day or half day ride is to start at the Karangahake Gorge, stopping to explore the old gold mining relics and a 1km long railway tunnel.


The Bay Of Plenty was named by Captain Cook in the 18th Century and the name is still apt now. Sunshine and mild climate are the perfect complement to this long coastline, located east of the Kaimai-Mamaku Ranges and south of the Coromandel peninsula.

Relax on the beach or explore the hills, clad in native forest. For thrill seekers try white water rafting, or head offshore to White Island, an active volcano just off the coast.

Waihi Beach – A 9km stretch of inviting sand. Waihi Beach is on one of New Zealand's safest surf beaches and home to a bustling and friendly beachside community. Numerous walking and cycle tracks showcase some of the very best country in the Bay of Plenty.

Katikati – Katikati is known as ‘New Zealand’s Mural Town’ and is home to our country’s largest outdoor art gallery. Here you will find at least 60 pieces of art depicting the history of this bustling rural town. Dozens of colourful murals are painted on walls and commercial buildings, while impressive sculptures, carvings, mosaics and tapestries are also on display right across town.

Tauranga – New Zealand’s fifth largest city and the main centre for the Bay of Plenty. The city sits right on the water’s edge and is well-known for its blue skies, warm climate, sparkling harbour and relaxed lifestyle.

Mount Manuganui – A holiday paradise! You can surf, swim, play golf, shop, dine or simply relax and soak up the atmosphere. There’s no pressure here, just take your time to enjoy the pace of life you want.

Climb to the top of Mount Maunganui and later soak in the Hot Salt Water Pools. It will take you around 45 minutes to circumnavigate the 3.4km-long base track. This is New Zealand’s most popular walk, with expansive ocean views, majestic pohutukawa trees, peaceful beach inlets and numerous places where you can stop and admire the view. Venture to the top on the Summit walk in approxt 40 minutes (a good level of fitness is required). Choose from two scenic tracks to reach the 232m-high summit. The view at the top is worth the effort.

Te Puke - New Zealand’s kiwifruit capital and the horticultural hub of this coastal region.

Whakatane - The gateway to White Island, New Zealand's only active marine volcano. Whakatane is frequently the sunniest place in New Zealand, recording the highest sunshine hours.

The Coromandel Peninsula

The Coromandel Peninsula

The Bay of Plenty

The Bay of Plenty

GuidesRichard Pitt