Whitianga is located on the eastern side of Coromandel Peninsula near the top of the North Island. State Highway 25 runs through the town, and circumnavigates the Coromandel region, making Whitianga a great base for some excellent car rental road trips.
Whitianga is an attractive town a coastal town with a deep water harbour and is the main settlement of Mercury Bay. It is a great place for swimming, diving, bushwalking, scenic cruises, fishing, and kayaking and is a popular recreational haven with many sights to explore. Whitianga has an excellent selection of fine restaurants and cafes and a wide range of accommodation. You may also check out the local artists residing in the area, known for their inspirational landscape art or pay a visit to the wineries of Mercury Bay.
Whitianga Road Trips
Turn your visit to Whitianga a memorable one by meeting its fascinating locals, and enjoying the wonderful coastal scenery further afield on a road trip. Grab your rental car and check out some of these great destinations over a couple of days.
Cooks Beach & Hahei
Take a trip to Cooks Beach, a small coastal town which offers sweeping golden sands and safe swimming waters, then head to famous Cathedral Cove at Hahei Beach and visit the Marine Reserve to discover the rich and varied coastal habitat and wildlife. Don’t miss the remarkable Hot Water Beach while you’re there, where you can dig in the sand and create your own hot water spa pool!
Drive 40 minutes along the east coast on State highway 25 and reach the township of Tairua. Tairua is a beach holiday resort ideal for surfing, safe swimming and soaking up the sun. You can take a short detour to Aldermen Islands to get close to several surf beaches and dive spots. To conclude your Tairua stay, take a trip to Mount Paku to see great views of the town and experience an exhilarating ride along Pauanui beach and the surrounding area.
Head southwest for less than an hour and there you’ll find the township of Thames. This historical town sits between the calm waters of the Firth of Thames and the majestic Coromandel ranges. There’s a bunch of options to keep you busy including enjoying the numerous and varied boutique shops, participating in sporting activities, exploring the museum and goldmine trails, and experiencing the beautiful forests and Pohutukawa coastline.
Take a ride to the award winning Rapuara Water Gardens on the Tapu-Coroglen Road as well as the Petting Farm and Orchid Garden. Other places of interest include the bird hide, Small Gauge Railway, Tropical Butterfly House, Ngatea Water Gardens, Matatoki Cheese Farm, Piako Ostrich Farm, Miranda Hot Pools and Wilderness Gems. Just 20 minutes from the town centre is the Kauaeranga Valley which lies in the hills just behind Thames and offers extensive walking and camping opportunities.
Head another 40 to 50 minutes north of Thames and take a stopover at the township of Coromandel to explore the town’s heritage architecture, enjoy a wide variety of bars, cafes and shopping, and discover some of New Zealand’s best artists and crafts. If you love the water, take a fishing trip, hire a sea kayak or go diving.
There’s plenty to do here for several days and there are many accommodation options including holiday parks, motels, B&Bs and backpackers.
Getting around Whitianga is easy with a rental car and there are plenty of options for you to choose from.
New Zealand Rent A Car has car rental locations throughout New Zealand.
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