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Things to do in

Coromandel Peninsula

Our most recommended things to do in Coromandel Peninsula

Whitianga: Cathedral Cove 2 Hour Boat Cruise

1. Whitianga: Cathedral Cove 2 Hour Boat Cruise

Based in Whitianga, this scenic boat cruise showcases Mercury Bay’s stunning coastal paradise at its very best. Embark on a 2-hour journey across the rugged volcanic shores of the bay and explore its beautiful beaches including Hahei and Lonely Bay. The highlight of the tour is the world-famous Cathedral Cove at Te Whanganui a Hei Marine Reserve. The site has a rich Maori heritage, attracts around 150,000 visitors per year, and was used as a filming location for the blockbuster movie Narnia. Sit back and relax as you sail around the bay, and marvel at its stunning natural landscapes that stretch across the peninsula. Along the way, listen to your guide share entertaining live commentary about the bay and the wildlife that lives here. Make sure to keep an eye on the water too, as there's always a chance to see dolphins, whales and orcas in their natural habitat.

From Whitianga: Mercury Bay Schooner Cruise

2. From Whitianga: Mercury Bay Schooner Cruise

Meet at Whitianga wharf bright and early to allow for a full day of activities. Step on to the great Windborne; a 1928 Topsail Schooner, and meet your crew for the day. Once you devise a plan for the day the schooner will set sail. Sit back and relax on the large deck, listening to the tales of Windborne in the early days, and the captain's sea stories. Make sure to keep an eye out for dolphins, whales, and the vast array of birdlife swooping by. Visit some of the most breathtaking places around Mercury Bay including Cathedral Cove, Devil's Point, and Pink Beach. Drop anchor at these locations and go for a snorkel in the crystal clear waters, do some paddleboarding, or swim onto shore for a little look around. Or you can simply relax on deck and enjoy a picnic lunch. Arrive back to Whitianga at approximately 4:00 PM.

Whitianga: Sailing Trip to Cathedral Cove with Swim

3. Whitianga: Sailing Trip to Cathedral Cove with Swim

Embark on a sailing trip from Whitianga and see the iconic sights of Mercury Bay and Cathedral Cove. Lend a hand with the sailing or simply sit back and relax on comfy beanbags and admire the picturesque scenery. Meet your guide in Whitianga and board Fully Charged, a fast racing catamaran. After a short introductory session to the boat's main facilities and safety systems, set sail out to the calm waters of the bay. As you sail, spot the area's most notable sights with the help of your guide. Keep your cameras ready as you sail past Cathedral Cove. Swim or snorkel in the marine reserve with the wonderful sea life, or simply chill out on board and soak up the scenery. The tour concludes back at the starting point in Whitianga. The morning tour option includes freshly-brewed coffee, chilled organic juice, and a freshly-baked snack. The afternoon tour option includes chilled local beer or New Zealand wine with a fresh fruit platter.

Whangamata: Whenuakura Island Guided Experiece

4. Whangamata: Whenuakura Island Guided Experiece

Embark on a short kayaking tour to Whenuakura Island, an area which is beginning to assume iconic status alongside other regional attractions in the Coromandel. The stunning Whenuakura Island, is one of a group of islands off the coast of Whangamata which have wildlife sanctuary status. As Guardians of the islands, this tour encourages you to treat the islands with respect to preserve their future. Because of the island’s geography, access is limited due to swell and wind conditions, and only kayaks or paddleboards can squeeze through the narrow entrance. The island is a wildlife sanctuary and opens up into a beautiful lagoon which is rather out of this world. Join the experienced team on an adventure that takes you 600m off the coast of Whangamata Beach, to a secluded turquoise lagoon surrounded by native fauna and volcanic cliff rock.

From Auckland: Small Group Coromandel Peninsula Day Tour

5. From Auckland: Small Group Coromandel Peninsula Day Tour

First, enjoy the 90-minute drive to the charming town of Thames, where you will take a short break. Then, hit the road again and take in the spectacular views along New Zealand’s west coast. You will then stop in at the Coromandel Township where the renowned potter, Barry Brickell, had his studio. Ride on his personally designed mountain railway system, on a memorable journey through the rugged landscape. Next, stop for a quiet stroll in pristine rainforest and see some magnificent kauri trees, which once covered the Coromandel Peninsula. The journey continues across the mountain divide and descends towards the east coast beaches where you will stop for lunch. Visit the amazing Hot Water Beach, where hot water bubbles to the surface of the sand. Dig your own hot tub right next to the lapping waves.   Then, visit Cathedral Cove, where the water washes through a natural arch onto a white sandy beach backed by white cliffs. Next, take the 30-minute downhill walk to the beautiful beach, which was featured in the Chronicles of Narnia.   End the day enjoy the landscape during the return journey to Auckland, as you head over the hills along a different route.

Whitianga: Cathedral Cove, Small Caves & Snorkel Boat Trip

6. Whitianga: Cathedral Cove, Small Caves & Snorkel Boat Trip

The only boat tour to combine thrills & small caves experiences to Cathedral Cove and beyond. Experience the thrill of small cave adventures where others can't take you. Discover magnificent views, see New Zealand's 2nd largest sea cave, regularly going to the places seen in online videos & pictures, get up close to aquatic life in the marine reserve. Leaving Whitianga Wharf, stop to view Shakespeare's Cliff then, pass the stunning Lonely before exploring inside Cooks Beach Blowhole and gazing out through the top. Be amazed at the panoramic scenery at Cathedral Cove. Head south getting close in along the coastline in and out of bays, caves, and blowholes. Take in the mesmerising volcanic landscape of towering pinnacles and rock sculptures. Marvel at the size of New Zealand's 2nd largest sea cave "Orua" before visiting offshore islands with more caves. Have the option to snorkel and witness sea life in the marine reserve before heading back to Whitianga.

Whitianga: Jet Boat Ride to Cathedral Cove

7. Whitianga: Jet Boat Ride to Cathedral Cove

Speed through the water at up to 80 kilometers an hour. Enjoy scenic views as you head to Cathedral Cove in a thrilling way. Board your jet boat and get ready for the fastest way to see Cathedral Cave. Hold on tight on your high-speed journey and experience drifting, power slides and white knuckle spins. Combine the rush of adrenaline with spectacular views of the volcanic coastline. Zoom over turquoise waters, past desert islands, and white sand beaches. Speed by towering cliffs and giant pohutukawa trees before sliding in towards Cathedral Cove to admire this natural wonder.

Whitianga: Sailing Trip to Great Mercury Island with Lunch

8. Whitianga: Sailing Trip to Great Mercury Island with Lunch

Meet your friendly captain at Whitianga Wharf and board the impressive 63 ft Windborne. The boat, which has been sailing the oceans of the world since 1928 was lovingly rebuilt in 1981 and is bursting with character, charm, strength, and comfort. Once aboard, set sail onto the glistening waters that surround Whitianga and begin the 15 nautical mile journey towards Great Mercury Island, one of the prettiest places on earth. Anchor at Peach Grove and cool off from the heat with a refreshing dip in the crystal clear water. Swim ashore, or catch a ride in the dinghy boat then feel the sand beneath your toes as you stroll along the flawless beach. While at the beach, you can also make use of the boat's snorkel gear and paddle boards. Later, wander through the bush to find a stunning waterfall where you can relax in the freshwater pool. Whatever you choose to do on the island, native parrots are abundant and sure to keep you company. Once you’ve worked up a bit of an appetite, dine on a delicious lunch of homemade salads, cheese, chutneys, and more onboard the schooner. After lunch, set sail again back towards the mainland and allow the fresh sea breeze to immerse you in the beauty of nature. Snack on tasty nibbles as you lookout for dolphins, orcas, and whales and admire the rock formations and volcanic plaques of Flat Island along the way.

Auckland: Coromandel, Cathedral Cove & Hot Water Beach Tour

9. Auckland: Coromandel, Cathedral Cove & Hot Water Beach Tour

Begin the tour with a pick-up from your hotel in a comfortable minibus equipped with WiFi, charging ports, and onscreen entertainment. Be taken on a scenic drive through the New Zealand countryside as you head to the incredible Coromandel Peninsula. Head to your first stop, Cathedral Cove, a spot featured in the film the Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Cathedral Cove is one of New Zealand's most famous and beautiful beaches, and is a must-do activity for any visitor to New Zealand. As there are no roads to this beach, take a 40-minute bush walk to get there. Upon arrival, take some time to relax, sunbathe, swim, play sport, or just soak in the spectacular views. Later, enjoy time for lunch at a restaurant where you can try some local food, and can even have a beer if you choose (food and drinks not included). Continue to your next stop, the famous Hot Water Beach, where you can dig a hole in the sand to create a naturally-heated geothermal water bath. Finally, it's time to make your way back to Auckland, but not without stopping for a quick ice-cream and some more photos.

Whitianga: Cooks Beach Jet Boating Experience

10. Whitianga: Cooks Beach Jet Boating Experience

Hold on tight for an adrenaline-packed, white-knuckle jet boat ride along 7 km of the scenic, untouched Coromandel Coast, beaches, islands, and secluded coves. Hit this one-of-a-kind coastline at full blast with no shortage of spins, drifts, and speed. After meeting staff near the water at Whitianga Wharf, gear up with included life jackets before getting on the boat (ponchos are also included in the winter months). Then, set out on a short but sweet blast over to Cooks Beach hitting speeds of up to 80 km/h. Feel your heart pump as you experience wild spins and maneuvers.  End your ride back at the starting point in Whitianga, where you can conveniently reach nearby cafes, restaurants, and public toilets.

Other Sightseeing Options in Coromandel Peninsula

Want to discover all there is to do in Coromandel Peninsula? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Coromandel Peninsula

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 167 reviews

This was a wonderful excursion! The sites were absolutely breathtaking and there were plenty of photo stops and potty breaks to break up the trip. TONY is the best!! Such a wonderful tour guide and personable human being altogether. The tour guides we had with our Bush & Beach excursions were easily the best and one of the most memorable parts of our trip - definitely recommend booking with them for anything you can :)

This was a fantastic introduction to the beauty of Mercury Bay. The skipper, Justin, is very knowledgeable and Avery competent operator. The boat is a very dry hull and I can thoroughly recommend this trip to anyone. It was a great trip and an event my wife and I will talk about for years to come.

the trip was very good. the weather was fantastic we had to put it off one day but it was well worth it. what we saw was good the sea was smooth and no swell; even over eighty years old service was good and easy to manage

Loved it, Justin was very knowledgeable about the different sites we visited & a great host. Also let us have photo opportunities now & then. Great trip, highly recommend!

Justin was knowledgeable and entertaining! We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and will recommend to others.