Driver Information
New Zealand ItinerariesTravel distance is approximately 46kms (29 miles).
Allow at least 0.5 hour drive time (not including stops).
Part of the Pacific Coast Highway.

Cruising the spectacular east coast of New Zealand’s North Island is the highlight for the Pacific Coast Highway route, and because of the unique intermingling of land and sea, it is easy to see why this route is considered one of the top road touring routes in the world.

The Pacific Coast Highway covers 420km’s of magnificent scenery, including spectacular coastal scenery, picturesque seaside villages, forest wilderness and grape growing districts.

After a relaxing night in the quaint Coromandel town it’s time to pack your bags and ‘hit the road’ for the next part of your fabulous New Zealand self-drive tour as you head towards the beach town of Whitianga.

Some notable stops along the route to Whitianga include:

How many chances in your life will you get to sit in your own freshly dug hot spa on a beach? Welcome to Hot Water Beach – boasting a truly unique visitor attraction! Due to two hot water springs located nearby the beach, at low tide you can hire a spade and dig your own spa on the sandy beach.

Named after the Maori Chief Hei, this pretty beach is fringed with native Pohutukawa trees and is a popular local spot for swimming, boating and fishing. Take a visit to the Southern end of Hahei to view the historic Te Pare reserve, which is the site of an ancient Maori pa.

The refreshing ocean breeze will instantly revitalise your senses as you drive into the beach side resort town of Whitianga! A popular family summer holiday spot, if you love fresh seafood you’ll find there is plenty of fish to catch and shellfish to gather, while the relatively sheltered waters of the bay are great for all water sports.

If you are travelling during peak season we suggest you book your overnight accommodation before you arrive, or arrange accommodation before settling down to enjoy all the local visitor attractions and activities within this stunning location.

Highly recommended Whitianga tourist attractions include…

Big Game Fishing & Scenic Cruises – Whitianga is a popular holiday spot for big game fishing enthusiasts and there are plenty of charter boats of all shapes and sizes available for hire to suit your fishing requirements and budget. Scenic ocean cruises on the azure blue sea is also a relaxing way to spend the afternoon.

Cooks Beach – Enjoy a short ferry ride from Whitianga to get to Cooks Beach, which is a popular visitor stop-off due to the stunning fine golden sand beach, safe swimming waters and the Purangi River picnic spot.

Golf – If you’re feeling a little water logged after all those sea based activities and want some relaxing golf time, then you wont be disappointed in the selection of attractive golf courses in the area, which include an 18 hole course plus a couple of 9 hole golf courses at Purangi near Cooks Beach and at Matarangi. Beautiful surrounds and fabulous weather… the perfect golfing combination.

Mercury Bay Historical Museum – Located by the wharf in Whitianga, the museum boasts exhibits dating from 800-950 AD. This is a popular family attraction with an interactive natural history exhibit, Maori artefacts and much more.

Matarangi – A purpose-built resort town located along 4.5km’s of beautiful sandy beaches, including a lovely, safe swimming spot. Golf, tennis and other activities are also on offer.

Whitianga is a thriving coastal fishing town and you will be spoilt for fresh seafood choices when dining out in any of the great restaurants. During the day there are plenty of activities on the water and land, including surfing, cruises, horse riding, bush walks, land tours, arts, crafts and much more.

As the popularity of this town grows, so doe the choice of accommodation, with many new and renovated accommodation options available to an international standard.
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