Whitianga, a beach lovers paradise. Located on the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula only 2.5 hours drive from Auckland. Enjoy the many activities and attractions on offer here with its friendly and relaxed atmosphere - there is just so muc... Show More
Tourist Information About Whitianga
Whitianga, a beach lovers paradise. Located on the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula only 2.5 hours drive from Auckland. Enjoy the many activities and attractions on offer here with its friendly and relaxed atmosphere - there is just so much to see and do. Whitianga is an attractive town with a beautiful deep-water harbour, the perfect base for boaties to go and explore the Coromandel's amazing beaches. The famous Cathedral Cove is practically just around the corner, take a glass-bottom boat or kayak and explore the surrounding marine reserve. The fast-growing town of Whitianga has all you need with plenty of popular local shops as well as the national chain stores. There's something for all tastes in the many cafes and restaurants here in Whitianga. A main attraction is to dig your own hot pool at Hot Water Beach at low tide which has hot spring water seeping through its sands. You can take a fishing charter trip, dive trip, play mini golf and visit the Mercury Bay Museum or hike to New Chums Beach through nikau and pohutukawa forest only accessible on foot or by boat.
Best Attractions and free things to do in Whitianga
1. Cathedral Cove Boat Tour
This is the perfect activity to bring your family on any sunny day. Along our gorgeous volcanic coastline, join us as we explore Cathedral Cove, the marine reserve, and offshore islands.
In one hour, you'll see all of the attractions, including the lonely shore with its beautiful sea caves and, if the tide is perfect, a visit to the hidden subterranean blowhole. Because the boat is smack in the middle of the natural surroundings, marine life is all around and may be seen up close. Observe gannets diving into the water.
2. Chilled out Sail
On our roomy catamaran, plan to cruise along the gorgeous coastline. Visit local landmarks, such as the world-famous Cathedral Cove. Relax on the boat once we've dropped anchor, or go swimming or snorkeling in the marine reserve to see the magnificent fish life. Every journey is unique. Help sail, or rest in the comfortable bean bags while taking in the sights.
3. Stargazing Tours
Explore the unique gems of the southern night sky on an incredible journey of discovery. From the dark sky site, look at the Moon and/or planets. Using a research-grade telescope in the revolving dome, explore areas of star development and death. Learn how Maori utilized stars and constellations to navigate the Pacific by sitting inside the gigantic sundial.
4. Cooks Beach
This lengthy sandy beach, which drew Captain Cook's attention, is a great area to relax while taking in the sights of Mercury Bay. Shakespeare Cliff to the west and the protected and gorgeous Purangi Estuary to the east surround Cooks Beach.
Cooks Beach is a 3 km white sand beach with a rounded shape that is great for swimming, strolling, and sunbathing. For locals, this is a popular vacation spot, and a pleasant seaside settlement of vacation homes has grown up here over time.
5. Hot Water Beach
Travel to Hot Water Beach, a geo-thermal wonder near Whitianga with one of the best things to do in New Zealand on any sunny, or rainy day! Here lies a fantastic escape for you and your special someone. Come and relax in a tranquil haven away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Discover a paradise where the 16,000-year-old mineral water emerges pure and sterile from a depth of 667 meters, soaking away the stresses of ordinary life.
For a more natural experience, you can visit the top attraction Hot Water Beach, where you can build your own spa on the verge of the huge Pacific. The optimum time to visit Hot Water Beach is two hours before or after low tide, when the best place to build your spa is exposed. Hot Water Beach offers a landscape and ambience unlike any other, from the crashing waves to the searing bite of hot sand beneath your bare feet at low tide.
6. Cathedral Cove
Cathedral Cove is a well-known natural icon in New Zealand, having featured in the opening scene of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Swim the snorkel trail, take a guided tour, and marvel at the marine reserve's wealth of aquatic life. Definitely one of the things you need to do when visiting the coromandel!
Cathedral Cove is one of the top "See and Do" spots in The Coromandel, located on the edge of the vast Mercury Bay, close to the village of Hahei.
Adjacent to the reserve, there are various scenic trails, including a 1.5-hour return walk that leads to Gemstone Bay, Mare's Leg, and Cathedral Cove.
However, approaching the water, by boat or kayak, is the ideal way to feel the magic of this location and to learn about the secrets of the volcanic shoreline from which it is formed. There are 3 beautiful boat tours See and Do has to offer; Arvo of Goodness, Cathedral Cove Boat Tour and Morning Glory.
Te Whanganui o Hei is part of a unique territory that was first claimed by Hei, a revered spiritual tauira (authority) who arrived to Aotearoa with Kupe on the waka Te Arawa approximately 1350 AD. Hei chose the area near Mercury Bay to settle with his people, Ngti Hei, on a northward voyage from the Bay of Plenty to Hauraki. He declared ownership of Motueka Island by calling it "Te kuraetangao-taku-Ihu" (the outward curve of my nose). This assertion is supposed to have been made near the present-day town of Hahei.
Hei's descendants still have a deep ancestral and spiritual connection to the land, and they continue to serve as kaitiaki (guardians) of the area's abundant resources.
7. Fishing in The Coromandel
The Coromandel is one of New Zealand's favorite and most accessible fishing destinations, with over 400 kilometers of coastline and over 100 offshore islands. Waipae Magic Charters run fishing sightseeing snorkeling tours.
Within a relatively small region, it offers some of New Zealand's best fishing. You may be guaranteed to locate somewhere to fish, dive, or snorkel with an East and West Coast, as well as plenty of bays and islands for safety. Whatever your passion, whether it's beach surfcasting, relaxing among mussel farms, live baiting, or venturing further afield in search of that elusive game fish, The Coromandel has it all.
8. New Chum Beach
Those that venture off the beaten path will discover this spot to be pure beauty. The Coromandel is healthy for your soul, and New Chum exemplifies that feeling. This pristine stretch of land is a gem in New Zealand's coastal crown, with no buildings, roads or infrastructure.
9. Shakespeare Headland Track
The road climbs to a saddle between Flaxmill Bay and Cooks Beach at Flaxmill Bay. You can reach the top of the headland by an unsealed route on the left at the saddle. The view from the lookout spans Whitianga and Buffalo Beach to Wharekaho (Simpson Beach), Mercury Bay's islands, Cooks Beach and Lonely Bay underneath you, and Cook Headland.
The view that will greet you at the end is well worth the hike and will leave you wanting to do it all over again!
10. Historic Whitianga Rock Maori Pa site
This walk commences at Ferry Landing Wharf, Australasia's oldest stone wharf, which was built in 1837, and persists to the Maori Pa site and other historical landmarks. Built in 1837, the Ferry Landing Wharf is made of native stone quarried from adjacent cliffs.
This is the oldest stone wharf in Australasia, designated on the National Register of Historic Places and still in service as a ferry terminal today. Several sites of exposed middens, evidence of early Maori occupancy, are encountered along the hike. There are also countless other things along the way you can discover and admire.