Kahaia Tours. If you need both transport and local knowledge to find the best spots, give Tim and Tina at Kahaia Tours a call. They're based in Colville but will collect you from your accommodation and take you anywhere you like on the Coromandel Peninsula, and they'll plan a customized tour to suit your time, budget, and interests. Popular itineraries include the 309 Road, the "great Colville Tour" right to the northern tip to Fletcher Bay, the beautiful beach of Waikawau Bay, and the region around Coromandel township, taking in its forest park, aquaculture industry, mining heritage, and local art communities. Or they'll simply provide you with transport to do what you want, hiking or horse trekking perhaps. Whatever you chose you'll have a great day out, learn a lot, and mix with the locals. And they'll be able to speak French, Tahitian, or German if need be. Bookings are essential. Coromandel, Waikato. 07/866–6669. . www.kahaiatours.co.nz.

Kauri Block Pā Track. On a clear day, head up to the Kauri Block Pā Track (1½ hours return), which provides panoramic views over the town, harbor, and coast. Follow the main road to Coromandel town's western outskirts, where a signpost points out the start of the trail at 356 Wharf Road. The trail goes through native and regenerating bush to the summit, a Māori site, before winding down through the bush and emerging onto Harbour View Road, which you follow back to town. 356 Wharf Rd., Coromandel, Waikato, 3506.

Long Bay Scenic Reserve and Kauri Grove. A gentle 40-minute walk (one-way) will take you to one of the lovelier beaches in the immediate area. Pack a picnic and enjoy a relaxing afternoon. The track starts at the end of Long Bay Road, at the Long Bay Motor Camp (about 3 km [1.8 mi] from Coromandel town), and slopes up through a grove of young kauri trees and down to the secluded Tucks Bay, a prime spot to unpack a picnic lunch. Either turn back here, or head across Tucks Bay and follow the coastal track back to the motor camp. 3200 Long Bay Rd., Coromandel, Waikato, 3581.




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