Coromandel Peninsula and the Bay of Plenty: Places to Explore


  • The 309 Road

  • Around Hahei

    The beaches, coves, and seaside villages around Hahei make for a great day of exploring—or lounging. If you're craving a true beach vacation, consider basing yourself in Hahei rather than in Whitianga... Read more

  • Colville and Beyond

    To reach land's end in the wilds of the Coromandel Peninsula—with rugged coastline, delightful coves, and pastures—take the 30-minute drive from Coromandel up to Colville. The town has a grocery store–gas... Read more

  • Coromandel

    Coromandel town became the site of New Zealand's first gold strike in 1852 when sawmill worker Charles Ring found gold-bearing quartz at Driving Creek, just north of town. The find was important for New... Read more

  • Katikati

    Katikati was built on land confiscated from local Māori after the 1863 land wars and given to Irish Protestant settlers by the Central Government. But before being settled in the 1870s, Māori had long... Read more

  • Tairua

    Tairua is one of the larger communities along the coast, and one of the prettiest, nestled beside an estuary, harbor, and hills, with an ocean beach close by. Because State Highway 25 is the town's main... Read more

  • Tapu–Coroglen Road

  • Tauranga

    The population center of the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga is one of New Zealand's fastest-growing cities. Along with its neighbor, Whakatane, this seaside city claims to be one of the country's sunniest towns... Read more

  • Thames

    The peninsula's oldest town, Thames has evolved from a gold-mining hotbed in the late 1800s to an agricultural center. Locals have a saying that when the gold ran out, "Thames went to sleep awaiting the... Read more

  • Whakatane

    For yet another chance to laze on the beach, Whakatane (fah-kah-tah-nee) claims to be the North Island's sunniest town. This was landfall on New Zealand for the first migratory Māori canoes, and the fertile... Read more

  • Whangamata

    The Coromandel Ranges back Whangamata (fahng-a-ma-ta), another harborside village. This was once a town of modest houses and a population of 4,000, but it's been discovered by people wanting a holiday... Read more

  • Whitianga

    As you descend from the hills on the Coromandel's east coast, you'll enter Whitianga township beside the long stretch of Buffalo Beach. It's named for the British ship that used to ferry convicts from... Read more