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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.

Whitianga: Cathedral Cove, Small Caves & Snorkel Boat Trip

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

Discover the scenic Cathedral Cove and smaller caves on this boat trip from Whitianga. Experience the thrill of small, hard-to-get-to caves and discover magnificent offshore views. See New Zealand's 2nd largest sea cave, and get up close to aquatic life in the marine reserve. Leaving Whitianga Wharf, stop to view Shakespeare's Cliff, and 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 along the coastline in and out of bays, caves, and blowholes. Take in the mesmerizing 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: Sailing Trip to Cathedral Cove

3. Whitianga: Sailing Trip to Cathedral Cove

Embark on a sailing trip from Flaxmill Bay, a small cove nestled between Cooks Beach and Whitianga to 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.  Board our large, modern catamaran, and 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. You will enjoy some snacks and drinks during the journey.  Once the boat sets anchor, if conditions are good, choose to 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 Flaxmill Bay. 

Hobbiton Movie Set Shore Excursion from Tauranga

4. Hobbiton Movie Set Shore Excursion from Tauranga

Depart from the Port of Tauranga, and begin your journey along Pilot Bay towards the wonderful Mount Maunganui beach. Take photos and hear local facts from your guide along the way. Then, travel to The Shire, home of Bilbo Baggins and his friends. Get a meet and greet at the Hobbiton Movie Set by your official guide. Take a guided tour filled with fun facts, insider stories, and many photo opportunities. Next, sit back and enjoy a drink at the Green Dragon Inn.  Return towards Tauranga, and visit a few special spots along the way for breathtaking views over the Matamata-Piako Plains. Visit the local park to appreciate the beauty of its lake, paddocks, mature trees, and the wonderful wildlife that dwells within its boundaries.

Whangamata: Donut Island Guided Kayaking Experience

5. Whangamata: Donut Island Guided Kayaking Experience

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.

Auckland: Coromandel, Cathedral Cove & Hot Water Beach Tour

6. 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: 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.

Coromandel Peninsula: Volcanic Coast Kayaking Adventure

8. Coromandel Peninsula: Volcanic Coast Kayaking Adventure

The day begins with a scenic drive from Whitianga to Opito Bay along the breath-taking Blackjack Road. From here, after a brief safety introduction, your adventure begins. Paddle alongside dramatic volcanic coastlines, around offshore islands, and through archways and sea caves. Observe the local wildlife, and enjoy stopping on pristine, isolated beaches. Enjoy the intimacy of traveling by kayak and experience the true beauty of the Coromandel Peninsula up close. Your experienced local guide will share tales of days gone by and teach you about the stunning natural environment that they are lucky enough to call home. The trip will conclude at the little-known Matapaua Bay, an idyllic paradise that has slipped under the radar for years. The van will be waiting to take you back to Whitianga.

From Auckland: Small Group Coromandel Peninsula Day Tour

9. 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: Scenic Flight on Coromandel Peninsula

10. Whitianga: Scenic Flight on Coromandel Peninsula

Discover the Coromandel Peninsula from a unique aerial perspective with a scenic flight over Mercury Bay. Departing from the coastal town of Whitianga, head north to Matarangi, Whangapoua, and New Chums Beach. Travel along the coast with stunning views of the Great Mercury Islands, Opito Bay, and Great Barrier in the distance. Fly over white-sand beaches, high clifftops, as well as secluded bays and coves only visible by plane or boat. From there, continue down the coast to Hahei and Hot Water Beach. Finally arrive at the critically-acclaimed Cathedral Cove and fly over Cooks Beach before heading back to Whitianga.

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 179 reviews

The tour guide was really knowledgeable and helpful to everyone. We enjoyed it a lot. I would strongly recommend visiting these two places. Overall, our experience with the tour agency was smooth and satisfying.

We really enjoyed our visit to Cathedral Cove and surrounding areas on the Ocean Leopard Cruise with a informative commentary by our friendly Skipper Liam who has great knowledge of the Mercury Bay area.

My partner and I really enjoyed this tour. It was beautiful, fun, active, and with lots of interesting facts.

Really enjoyed this trip by boat to Cathedral Cove! Tim was very informative about history of area.

Our Skipper, Liam, was truly knowledgeable and very informative. the cruise was awesome ☆☆☆☆☆