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Coromandel Peninsula Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Coromandel Peninsula Nature & adventure

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: Sailing Trip to Cathedral Cove

2. 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. 

Whangamata: Donut Island Guided Kayaking Experience

3. 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

4. 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.

Coromandel Peninsula: Volcanic Coast Kayaking Adventure

5. 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

6. 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

7. 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.

From Auckland: Coromandel Peninsula Full-Day Tour

8. From Auckland: Coromandel Peninsula Full-Day Tour

Explore the pristine white-sand beaches, lush native forests, and breathtaking natural formations of the Coromandel Peninsula on a full-day tour from Auckland. Hike through beautiful forest to the rugged coastline and marvel at the views of Cathedral Cove. Get up close to this cathedral-like arched cavern, featured in the Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Dig your own shallow thermal pool in the tidal area of the beach and let yourself soak in a 60-degree bath on Hot Water Beach. Marvel at the spectacular views and the ever-changing landscape and stop en route to take magical photos. Travel throughout in air-conditioned Mercedes-Benz vehicle, on a small group tour and accompanied by a knowledgeable guide. Make full use of your day as you hike, soak and swim and explore Hahei, Hot Water Beach, Cathedral Cove.

From Whitianga: Cathedral Cove Marine Reserve Cruise & Swim

9. From Whitianga: Cathedral Cove Marine Reserve Cruise & Swim

Relax & enjoy Shakespeare’s Cliff, Lonely Bay & Cathedral Cove on an open boat with unrestricted stunning views. Experience the thrill of going inside Cooks Blowhole, Whale Cave and our very own “Hole in the Rock”. Regularly going to the places seen in online videos & pictures, venture inside caves others cannot take you! View fish in the Marine Reserve. Learn the history of the area and be amazed by the volcanic formations throughout the Bay. You won’t be disappointed with Coromandel’s fantastic coastline as we go down to the Orua Sea Cave where you will be taken inside the cave and hear the amazing acoustics as we play music.

Coromandel Peninsula: Full Day Canyoning Adventure

10. Coromandel Peninsula: Full Day Canyoning Adventure

Your canyoning adventure departs from the Thames Visitor Information CENTR in the morning. Upon arrival at the Coromandel Peninsula valley floor, meet your guides for the day and listen to a brief talk about the history of the area as well as fascinating insight about the region’s pre-european logging industry. After your introduction session, begin your ascent to the top of the river and into the canyon. At the summit, take a moment to catch your breath and admire the sprawling views across the surrounding landscape. Next, get kitted out with all the necessary equipment and watch your guide share some important safety information as well as a short abseiling session and tradition Karakia prayer. Then it’s time for the real fun to begin as you drop over the first 30-meter waterfall and glide across the canyon wall. Feel the thrill of adrenaline as you slide down 10 waterfalls, swim through natural pools, climb down the valley wall, and marvel at stunning views throughout the day. The tour also comes with lunch and snacks included, as well as photos of the day to remind you of this truly unique experience.

Other Sightseeing Options in Coromandel Peninsula

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What people are saying about Coromandel Peninsula

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 21 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 ☆☆☆☆☆