Explore the Coromandel    - 5   day New Zealand Tour

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Explore the Coromandel

Waihi Gold Mine tour, Karangahake Gorge, Thames, Coromandel, Driving Creek Railway, Opito Bay, Whitianga, Glass Bottom Boat Tour, Cooks Beach, Cathedral Cove, Hahei, Hot Water Beach, Tairua, Whangamata & more…

From towering kauri forests, to the Pohutukawa lined beaches, escape ‘up the road’ with us to explore the Coromandel Peninsula – an area full of scenic delights and fascinating history. On our 5 day visit we traverse the peninsula, and explore some of the ‘off the beaten’ path areas. Overnight stays in Coromandel and Whitianga (2 nights in each) means we have a great base for our adventures.

Date TBC
$1795 pp twin share

DAY 1 As always, we will collect you from your door before we head north through Katikati, past kiwifruit and avocado orchards to our first stop at the Martha Gold Mine in Waihi. This historic town has a fascinating and unique gold story to tell. Although mining operations are ordinarily off-limits to the public, our Gold Mine Tour will take us inside the fence to experience modern-day gold mining up close. You’ll be fitted out with safety gear and given a safety briefing before we head inside the security fence to view the mine operations from the best available vantage points. See every stage of the process from ore extraction and crushing, through to final processing. There is also plenty of massive mining equipment on show too.


Learn of the colourful stories from the mine’s past, your guide will answer any questions you may have about the modern and profitable operation. Before departing we have time to visit the Waihi Gold Experience at the Gold Discovery Centre. This is an interactive display which gives you a real insight into the world of gold mining. Departing Waihi we then continue through the scenic Karangahake Gorge, an area still full of mining relics from the 1800's, the heyday of gold mining in the region.

Continuing on through Thames (once New Zealand’s largest town!) we hit the Tapu coast road, allowing majestic views out over the Firth of Thames. Our destination for the next two days will be Coromandel town. The historic town is a haven for talented artists and craftspeople who have moved here from around New Zealand and has a unique character, full of soul and ambience reflecting art and heritage.

Day 2  Today we begin with a ride on the unique Driving Creek Railway, New Zealand’s only narrow-gauge mountain railway. This labour of love by it's builder Barry Brickell is now a popular tourist attraction. Climb aboard for a captivating one-hour railway journey and be inspired by the story of one man’s lifetime passion to bring art, conservation and engineering together to create Driving Creek. Your train driver will entertain you with the story of Barry and how this amazing place came to be, as your tram winds its way up to the EyeFull Tower lookout, traveling through a native regenerating forest.


The train runs 2.7km from the base station at 55m above sea level to the EyeFull Tower at 167m above sea level, a total climb of 115m, making this New Zealand’s steepest railway. Unlike most other tourist railways, this one is newly built rather than being an old line that has been restored.

The afternoon will be free for you to relax and wander the interesting shops and sights of Coromandel or join us for a ride north to Colville to see more of the area. Tonight we have dinner in Coromandel town to enjoy good food with new friends.

Whats Included:

  • 5 days of touring

  • 4 nights quality accommodation

  • Door to door service [home pickups]

  • Quality air-conditioned vehicle

  • Full commentary by your guide

  • All breakfasts and dinners

  • Waihi Gold Mine tour

  • Driving Creek Railway

  • Glass Bottom Boat cruise

  • Plenty of stops along the way

You will see:

  • Stunning scenery throughout

  • Waihi and the Martha Gold mine

  • The Karangahake Gorge

  • Historic town of Thames

  • Coromandel township

  • Cathedral Cove

  • Te-Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve

  • Cooks Beach and Hahei

  • Hot Water Beach

  • Whangamata and Tairua

Not included:

  • Any lunches unless specified* 

  • Morning/afternoon tea stops*

  • Any alcoholic beverages with meals

DAY 3 A leisurely breakfast awaits us before we say goodbye to the west coast and depart towards the east side of the peninsula. Glimpses of the coast and islands delight as we traverse up and over the peninsula. We leave the main road to explore some of the beautiful beaches including favourites, such as Matarangi and Opito Bay.

Today is all about relaxing and taking our time, before we arrive in our base for the next 2 nights at Whitianga (located at Mercury Bay) With its calm waters and sentinel islands, this is a sheltered spot for the Coromandel's largest town. A great place to enjoy boating, delicious fresh seafood, plenty of shopping, cafes and the many dining options. The town is also close to the world-renowned Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach, making this is a must visit destination when touring the Coromandel.

 

DAY 4 This morning we embark on a special treat – a trip on the Whitianga Glass Bottom Boat. This scenic boat ride takes us to the Te-Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve, with some very special sights along the way. From stunning cliffs, blowholes and sea caves to marine life, clear water and the famous Cathedral Cove. This purpose built boat lets us see above and below the water – everywhere you look the vistas are breathtaking. Keep your eyes peeled for pods of dolphins or orca that frequent the area! What sets this tour above the rest is they can take guests below the surface to see the magical wonderland of the marine reserve. Look through the glass panels to explore an underwater world rich in marine life.

Once back on shore the afternoon is spent in and around Whitianga at your leisure. For those feeling fit we may explore some of the kauri forests in the area. 

 

DAY 5 There is plenty more to explore on our final day, so after breakfast we first head to historic Cooks Beach and the popular tourist hotspot of Hahei. It's then just a short drive around to Hot Water Beach and if the sea is at low tide we will get a chance to see how this beach earned it’s name. Within two hours either side of low tide visitors flock to the usually deserted Hot Water Beach to find hot water bubbling through the golden sand. Families, kids and couples can be seen digging their own hot water spa pool in the sand and relaxing in the natural spring water. Often rated as one of the world's most renowned beaches - this is one for the bucket list. A truly unique Kiwi experience that every New Zealander should try at least once in their lifetime!

Further south are lovely towns such as Tairua and Whangamata which we pass as part of our gentle drive back home. Following the coast road you will have great views of the offshore islands as we head back through Waihi and Katikati to Tauranga.

We will have you dropped at your door in good time – having experienced a memorable getaway to one of New Zealand’s most loved destinations.

Glass Bottom Boat Tour Coromandel

* Please note, that unless specified in the itinerary we do not usually include the cost of lunches or morning and afternoon tea stops in the tour cost, but we always make stops where there are a range of options available so you can choose what you want, and have flexibility to do things on your own if you wish.