AUCKLAND – COROMANDEL (via Thames)
Travel distance is approximately 166kms (104 miles).
Allow at least 2 hours drive time (not including stops).
Part of the Pacific Coast Highway.
The Pacific Coast Highway covers 420km’s of magnificent scenery, including spectacular coastal scenery, picturesque seaside villages, forest wilderness and grape growing districts.
Start your Pacific Coast Highway route in Auckland and follow the touring route signs on your scenic journey towards the Coromandel Peninsula with its pretty beaches and native forests.
End the drive in Coromandel town, and spend the afternoon and next morning exploring the area.
Some notable stops along the route to Coromandel township include:
Situated just 30 minutes drive time from Auckland city, Clevedon is the perfect place to to stretch your legs and enjoy some morning tea on your trip up North! Taste the best of New Zealand, including organic oysters, handmade chocolates, fresh organic produce, local Macadamia Nuts, organic New Zealand beef and much more. Clevedon Cafe offers local produce matched with local wines in a beaut country-style cafe.
Kawakawa Bay, Orere Point and Kaiaua are all beachside settlements you must visit for some great photo opportunities.
MIRANDA HOT SPRINGS
This thermally heated fresh mineral water is located just off State Highway 2, only 45 minutes from Auckland and 20 minutes from the Coromandel Peninsula. The soothing thermal mineral waters of Miranda offer a relaxing stop on your journey.
This is a friendly place to stop before you venture over the famous, one lane Kopu Bridge, which was built in 1928 and has a Historic Places Trust listing.
Located only 90 minutes from Auckland and referred to as the ”Gateway to the Coromandel’, Thames is a shopping paradise with an abundance of boutiques, a historic main street and a modern shopping mall. A visit to Thames isn’t complete without a stop at the Historical Museum and displays of the gold rush days. If you happen to pass through on a Saturday make sure you visit the Thames Market with is range of stalls including local crafts, produce, plants and more.
Coromandel was visited in 1820 by the HMS Coromandel, which called into the harbour for Kauri spars. The ship brought the town, and the Peninsula, its name from the Madras coast of India. In 1852 the discovery of gold at Driving Creek brought a boom to Coromandel Town. A lot of history dating from that time is still evident in the Town today: old buildings, artefacts and atmosphere.
Highly recommended Coromandel tourist attractions include…
Driving Creek Railway – A remarkable train ride on the world-class mountain railway. The journey takes approximately 1 hour and passes through breath-taking Kauri forests and climbs to the Eyefull Tower with its stunning panoramic views.
Waiau Waterworks – A totally unique light-hearted experience located in a garden, where whimsical wonders are worked by water! Great for all the family with plenty of interactive displays, playground, swimming holes and much more in a lovely, relaxed garden setting with cafe.
Cathedral Cove – This is a ‘must do’ for New Zealand and international visitors to the Coromandel. Accessible only on foot or by boat, the famous Cathedral Cove track begins at the northern end of Hahei. Cathedral Cove Marine Reserve covers 9 square kilometres and is New Zealand’s sixth marine reserve.
Castle Rock Winery – Boutique winery and cafe using organically grown produce when possible to create a range of approximately 30 different varieties of wine. Daily wine tastings available plus traditional old fashioned style jams, jellies, pickles, chutneys and sauces.
Coromandel Museum – A good opportunity to see a great insight into Coromandel town’s history of gold, kauri and farming.
Other local attractions include ocean fishing charters, craft tours, horse back riding, sailing charters, beaches, beauty spas and fabulous scenic walks.
The Coromandel Township offers a great range of accommodation, including camping grounds and luxury lodges. Restaurants and cafes offer a range of fresh produce to meet most tastes and budgets.
New Zealand Itineraries: North Island Suggested Itineraries
Our modern self-drive travel Itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!
- 5 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
- 6 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Coromandel, Coromandel – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua and Rotorua – Auckland
- 6 Day Itinerary (route 2): Auckland – Dargaville, Dargaville – Kaitaia, Kaitaia – Paihia, Paihia – Whangarei and Whangarei – Auckland
- 7 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Napier and Napier – Wellington
- 8 Day Itinerary: Wellington, Wellington – Masterton, Masterton – Wellington, Wellington – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim and Blenheim – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Coromandel, Coromandel – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Gisborne, Gisborne – Napier, Napier – Taupo, Taupo – Rotorua, Rotorua – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 2): Auckland – Whangarei, Whangarei – Paihia, Paihia – Hokianga, Hokianga – Auckland, Auckland – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
- 11 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua, Rotorua – Gisborne, Gisborne – Napier, Napier Taupo Napier, Napier – Wellington, Wellington – New Plymouth, New Plymouth – Waitomo and Waitomo Caves – Auckland