WHITIANGA – WHANGAMATA – TAURANGA
Travel distance is approximately 168kms (105 miles).
Allow at least 2.25 hours drive time (not including stops).
Part of the Pacific Coast Highway.
After a fond “goodbye” to the attractive township and deepwater harbour of Whitianga, it’s once again time to ‘hit the road’ for a short 1 hour drive to the picturesque costal town of Whangamata. From Whangamata you will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy seasonal fruit at roadside stalls, combined with fabulous coastal scenery.
Some notable stops along the route to Tauranga include:
Established during the gold mining and logging days of yesteryear, the town has grown into a popular seaside holiday location and is considered one of New Zealand’s most attractive surf towns, thanks mainly to a couple of fabulous long, white sandy beaches with excellent surf breaks and azure blue waters.
Waihi is considered the most famous of all New Zealand gold mining towns and is still very much a gold mining town today. With its 9km’s of white sandy beach and quaint old buildings, it is easy to see why Waihi Beach is a popular holiday destination.
As one of the safest surf beaches in New Zealand this is a great place to relax and enjoy some beach activities such as body surfing, kayaking or kite boarding.
After enjoying the scenic green scenery of places such as the Athenree Gorge you will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy seasonal fruit at roadside stalls, a great opportunity to get fresh, cheap oranges, kiwifruit and avocados before arriving in Tauranga.
If you plan on arriving in Tauranga around early afternoon you will give yourself plenty of time to enjoy some relaxing and fun activities before organising your accommodation for the evening.
Highly recommended Tauranga tourist attractions include…
MT MAUNGANUI HOT SALT WATER POOLS
This appealing seaside spa is located near the waterfront and is a popular local attraction. Sit back and soak while enjoying a fizzing salt water spa pool as it massages your aching muscles.
ELMS MISSION HOUSE
This would have to be one of New Zealand’s finest Georgian houses and being built in 1847 from Kauri logs, makes it one of the oldest historic buildings in the country. The grounds around the Elms Mission House are open daily, while the house and library are open to visitors on Sunday afternoons and public holidays.
MT MAUNGANUI BEACH
White beaches and frothy surf, another great beach to spend some time relaxing and soaking up the rays!
Renowned for innovative health products, the company provides a fascinating visitor centre where you can view the uses of honey, propolis, royal jelly, bee venom and much more, before it is turned into fabulous skincare and health products.
TUHUA MARINE RESERVE
Tuhua (Mayor Island) Marine Reserve is located off the coast of Tauranga and is a paradise for swimming, diving, boating and snorkelling. Diving and sightseeing excursions can be arranged from Mount Maunganui.
This impressive air museum showcases classic aircraft that ‘still take to the sky’! You can go for a fly in some classic’s such as Boeing Stearman World War II open-cockpit bi-plane, ex Royal New Zealand Air Force ‘Airtrainer’ or a Korean War era ‘M*A*S*H’ chopper.
In the evening, venture down to the waterfront to enjoy the sunset over the boat harbour and relax at one of the many restaurants in this friendly city before staying overnight in Tauranga.
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