Please note that the order of the tour may change due to tidal activities and/or weather conditions.
The walks on this tour are self-guided. They are well sign-posted and your guide is happy to supply you with a small map.
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Brief description of Tour M202
Best of Coromandel
You will be taken up into the mountains on the historic 309 Road. This is a winding gravel road, and we travel slowly. You can enjoy good views and pristine native forests and rivers.
Once over the saddle and on the western side of the mountains, you will go for an easy short walk (5 minutes return) to enjoy the picturesque Waiau Waterfall, set in subtropical rainforest.
Another, slightly longer walk (about 30 minutes for the circuit) allows you close-up views of some mature kauri trees (you can even hug one of them) as well as many nikau palms.
We return to the eastern side of the range and continue through farmland (mainly dairy and kiwifruit) to Cooks Beach, where we come past the only grape winery on the Coromandel. Then we take you all the way to the top of Shakespeares Cliff, which offers almost 360 degree views of the surrounding bays.
From here we continue to Hahei Village, a small beach town. Your tour allows for about two and half hours free time, which you will spend as you like.
You may wish to simply enjoy the beach, go for a swim in the clear water, or go for a beach walk to either end of the beach. Commonly observed birds are the New Zealand Dotterel, Variable Oystercatchers, Pied Shags, and a variety of other seabirds. If you are lucky, you may even spot dolphins or, in season, orcas. At the eastern end of Hahei Beach, a steep path leads up to an ancient Maori Pa site which offers splendid views.
Another popular thing to do from here is take a boat to Cathedral Cove. This 10-minute boat trip takes you along an amazing coastline to the world-famous rock arch known as Cathedral Cove (prominently featured in the film "Narnia - Prince Caspian"). The cost for this boat trip is $15 per person one-way and is not included in the tour price. After spending some time at Cathedral Cove, you may either walk back to Hahei Beach (about 1 hour - reasonable fitness required) or even return by boat.
Please note that the boat only operates when conditions are calm, as there is no boat ramp (and you will get wet feet getting on and off). In that case, you may still decide to do the walk to Cathedral Cove and back, as time allows do complete the walk return.
Our final stop is Hot Water Beach, where you will have time to enjoy the volcanic heated water bubbling up through the sand. Ask your guide for a spade, and you can even dig your own personal pool.
From here we return to Whitianga, where you will be dropped off at your accommodation (or elsewhere in town, if you wish).