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The beach is where it’s at here. Surfers and swimmers share the waves; farther offshore big-game fishing is popular.
Kiwi Dundee Adventures. Doug Johansen (Kiwi Dundee) and Jan Poole offer personalized, guided tours throughout New Zealand but they have a special focus on their home region, Coromandel. Their total enthusiasm for the region rubs off on anyone who takes a Kiwi Dundee tour. There are one day or three day walks and tours, plus 14- to 20-day tours all over New Zealand if you'd like more. 07/865–8809. www.kiwidundee.co.nz.
Te Ra Charters. Te Ra skipper Chris Jones has been doing this job for more than 20 years, so he knows what he's doing. Half-day fishing trips are available during the day on Wednesday and Friday evenings throughout the year, and two trips daily during January. Or you can charter the boat for the day. Te Ra is also licensed for marine-mammal watching, so keep an eye out for the big guys while you're on board. Divers are welcome but must bring their own gear. 120 Moana Anu Anu Ave., Whangamata, 3620. 07/865–8681. tera.whangamata.co.nz. $NZ 50 per person for half-day trips; $NZ600 full-day charter.
Wentworth Valley. Regenerating forest, gold mine history, and the 150-ft.-high Wentworth Falls are all features on this quality walk in the hills behind Whangamata. There's also a Department of Conservation campsite in the valley, and lots of swimming holes for cooling off on hot summer days. From Whangamata township drive south on SH25 for 2.5 km. (1.5 mi). Turn right off the highway into Wentworth Valley Road. The track starts at the road end. Wentworth Valley Road, Whangamata. 07/865 7032. www.wentworthvalleycamp.co.nz.
Whangamata Surf Shop. If you're looking for a quick introduction to surfing, check out the Whangamata Surf Shop, owned by local surfing legend, Dean Williams. The shop, in the center of town and recognized by its bright orange exterior, has surfboards, boogie boards and wetsuits for rent, plus they also offer surfing lessons. $80 covers a surfboard rental and an instructor for an hour. You can book at the shop, or, during summer, they're also set up down on the beach, looking out for you. 634 Port Rd., Whangamata, 3620. 07/865–8252.