7-day example itinerary.
Hike. Bike. Eat & Explore the Coromandel Peninsula.
The Coromandel Peninsula is known for its pristine beaches, misty forests, paved relaxing bike trails, stunning marine life, and hidden gems of exploration. Coromandel means realm of shores, which is correctly named as it is a peninsula clearly visible from Auckland on a clear day. The peninsula is steep and hilly and largely covered in bush. North Island, New Zealand, visitors can easily lose themselves in the natural beauty and activities of the region. The Coromandel Region is also a summertime escape for locals seeking adventure and relaxation.
We’ve found that the Coromandel Region is especially attractive to families and couples seeking a mix of relaxed bonding time and adventure. Visitors can explore shady forests and sunny beaches, easy conversation-friendly seaside bike rides, ocean-side rock formations, and old gold mining tunnels.
The best activities on the Coromandel Peninsula are outdoors and inexpensive, requiring only a tiny sense of adventure. Or, of course, any of these locations can be accessed with the safety and security of a guide if that makes you more comfortable.
Whether you love golden beaches or towering trees, there is plenty to enjoy here. Consider your accommodations a home base and use each day to drive to a different area of the peninsula.
There are so many hidden gems to escape to in the Coromandel Peninsula; you could easily escape everyday life for a few weeks. However, 5-7 days is ideal for more International travelers.
A 7-day itinerary of what to see and do in the Coromandel Region.
Day 1: Auckland travelers will start their adventure with a 2.5-hour road trip, heading South East toward Whitianga and Hot Water Beach. Hot Water Beach is a destination and can be your home base for the next few days. Break up the drive/ travel day with a stop in Tairua for supplies and a bit to eat at Johnnys Tairua. Johnnys has good quality burgers, pizza, and tacos and is also famous for seafood.
Hot Water Beach has few services outside of the Hahei Beach Resort. So plan accordingly if you have an alternative accommodations plan. After settling into your accommodations, seek out Hot Water Beach for a couple of hours on either side of the tide and dig a hot pool hole in the sand with a shade at low tide, warm water that bubbles up to the surface.
Day 2: If you are still recovering from jet lag, plan to stay close to Home Base with an easy drive to Cathedral Cove and Stingray Bay. Grab a snack and water. Check out Mother Natures best work. This iconic Cathedral shape cove with spectacular rock formations and a natural arch. Access by kayaking or cruise; our favorite is a two-hour paved hike. If you time it right, low tide, you can walk through and around the cove. Grab a snack or lunch at the Hive, and afterwards, visit Cooks Beach or (Shakespeare Cliff lookout) for sunset before eating dinner at Kaizen at go Vino!
Day 3: There is more to explore if you want to stay close to the Whitianga area for another day. Drive North to New Chums Beach (1hr 20 mins) East Coast. No road access and no infrastructure keep New Chum Beach quiet and pristine. You can reach its wide, graceful, golden arc of sand via an easy one-hour roundtrip hike. On your way back, check out the relaxing and natural Geo-Thermal Spa for a luxurious soak and a massage. End your evening with incredible at one of our favorite Asian fusion eateries.
Day 4+: A day on the wild side of the peninsula and its magnetic ocean views. If you are looking for an escape into what feels like the unknown, this one-way 3-hour track on the Coromandel coastal walkway (Fletcher Bay and Stony Bay) is for you. Hike, Bike, or Tour the walkway. Make a day of it or a 3 Day fully catered walking tour. We recommend a tour, but if you want to explore on your own, book your transportation at the beginning of the track and back from the end of it in Coromandel town. Getting there on your own is a challenge in itself. Its a road trip, about a 1.5 hrs drive north to check into the nearest accommodations and another 1.5 hours to reach the walkway. Make a pitstop at the grocery store for snacks before continuing to the tip of the peninsula. Coromandel township provides transportation from town to the entrance walkway.
Day 5: Its time to head South and back toward Auckland, but before you go, a stop in Thames, New Zealand, is a must! Get up and at it bright and early (pack snacks ahead of time); head south of the coromandel forest park to check out Hauraki Rail trail easiest bike trail in NZ, and/or Karangahake Gorge with a portal bridge, waterfalls, tunnels, and caves. (Only 12 km apart) After your adventure in the national park, check out a fantastic Thai restaurant on your way through town!
Day 6: Tour the Pinnacles, Kauaeranga Kauri Trail, just outside Thames, New Zealand. Hike deep in the Kauri forest, which made the fortune of many settlers in New Zealand who logged and shipped these giants of the forest back to the old continent. Or choose to have a relaxing day touring and shopping the Thames Town Center with its wealth of boutiques, a historic main street famous for being one of the longest streets in the country and a modern shopping mall. In addition, there are many pubs, landmark restaurants, and museums to enjoy.
Day 7: Pack your bags and plan on a 1.5 hr. drive to Auckland. If you have enough time, stop by the Auckland Botanical Gardens to stretch your legs before your big flight home.
Now lets put this all together: From Auckland to a 2-day home base near Hot Water Beach, with half-day or full-day trips to Cathedral Cove for a walk, hike, or kayak in one of Mother Nature’s works of art. A picnic lunch on the beach and a snack at the Hive on your way to a sunset dinner at Cooks Beach. On day 4, we are on the move for an adventure opportunity with a bike or hike day tour or a 3-day walking tour along the Coromandel coastal walkway. We land in Thames, New Zealand for more hiking opportunities or just relax in town with shopping and dinner at a number of landmark restaurants.
Sounds pretty incredible, huh?
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