AUCKLAND – COROMANDEL (via Thames)
Travel distance is approximately 166kms (104 miles).
Allow at least 2 hours drive time (not including stops).
Part of The Great New Zealand Touring Route.
This 9 day tour brings you the best of The Great New Zealand Touring Route, which explores the central North Island, following two signposted touring routes; the Pacific Coast Highway and the Thermal Explorer Highway.
Your self-drive tour starts with The Pacific Coast Highway, which covers the drive from Auckland, through the Coromandel and Whakatane, to Napier. However, for day 1 it is just a short, easy scenic drive into Coromandel town, where you can 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 enjoy a ‘driver break’ and stretch your legs while enjoying some morning tea on your trip up North! This is where you can taste the best and freshest of New Zealand, including 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 and a chance to dip your toes into the fabulous surt.
MIRANDA HOT SPRINGS
This is Located just off State Highway 2, this unique pool of thermally heated fresh mineral water is only 45 minutes from Auckland and 20 minutes from the Coromandel Peninsula. The soothing thermal mineral waters of Miranda are a wonderful spot for pure relaxation on your journey.
A friendly little place to stop and have another ‘driver reviver’ 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. Make sure you take time to visit the Historical Museum and awesome displays of the gold rush days. If you happen to pass through on a Saturday you can check out the fabulous Thames Market with its range of stalls including local crafts, produce, plants and more.
The drive into Coromandel offers some of the best New Zealand coastal touring thanks to the breath-taking procession of beautiful beaches fringed with stunning Pohutukawa trees… truly magical views!
Coromandel township with its well-preserved Victorian building is a pretty place to enjoy your overnight stay, however we do suggest you book your accommodation in advance during the busy summer period.
Highly recommended Coromandel tourist attractions include…
Coromandel Museum – A good opportunity to gain some interesting insight into Coromandel town’s history of gold, kauri and farming.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Other local attractions are plenty! Including sea 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