Tairua is a small seaside town and fishing village sitting on a natural harbour. The dominant feature is Paku Hill and extinct volcanic cone that stands at the harbour entrance. Great views of the town ship and the Pacific Ocean can be enjoyed from the look out at the top. With numerous white sandy beaches, cafes and restaurants this is a great place to spend some relaxing time. Dive trips to the Alderman Islands depart from here.
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Coves, Caves and Coastline Cruise from Whitianga
Explore the volcanic coastline with its many caves, blowholes and golden beaches all from the comfort and safety of an ex coastguard 28 ft cruiser. Departing from Whitianga Wharf journey past the towering Shakespeare's Cliffs and historic Cooks Beach. Visit Cathedral Cove and the islands in the marine reserve. There is also a chance to swim with the abundant fish in the reserve (on board snorkel gear provided - don't forget your swimsuit and towel). For those who prefer to stay dry an underwater camera relays images to an onboard TV.
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Kiwi Dundee adventures Nature and Coast day tour
A photographer's dream! A delightful sample of Coromandel Peninsula's natural heritage and scenic beauty. Enjoy the flora and fauna of the semi-tropical rainforest with giant ferns, kauri trees and crystal clear streams. Visit the old historic gold caves sparkling with glowworms and hear the fascinating history of this magic area. Visit stunning coastal scenery with white sand beaches, magnificent cliffs decorated with ancient Pohutukawa trees, old Maori pa sites and offshore islands. A visit to Hot Water Beach [tide permitting]. Lunch is included and will be a delightful picnic or a visit to our favourite cafe. The Nature and Coast day walk is their most popular walk and is a gentle walk suitable for everyone including children.
Walking tracks in and around the Coromandel Peninsula
The Coromandel Peninsula is most well-known for its white sandy beaches and idyllic bays. But if you head inland you’ll also find large tracts of rainforest with rivers and spectacular gorges. There are also many remnants from the historic gold mining boom and kauri logging industry. There are endless walks located on the peninsula for all abilities, so for a complete list of walks and to find some located near where you are staying visit the Coromandel Tourism website or the Department of Conservation website. Here are a selection of the more popular.
Cathedral Cove Walk (near Hahei)
This is one of the must-visit destinations on the Coromandel Peninsula and is only accessible by foot or by boat. The track begins in Hahei and takes you to some of New Zealand’s most spectacular coastal scenery. This walk takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes and is 2.5km.
Shakespeare Cliff Lookout (near Cooks Beach)
For fantastic views of Mercury Bay take the short walk to Shakespeare Cliff lookout. There are a number of options to extend this walk by leaving from Ferry landing and following the Maramaratotara Track.
Broken Hills Recreation Area (near Pauanui and Tairua)
Located 19km from Tairua, the Broken Hills Recreation Area is home to many short walks. This picturesque reserve is located along the Tairua River and was once a bustling gold-mining settlement, so walks follow old wagon routes to historic battery sites.
Kauaeranga Valley Short Walks (near Thames)
The Kauaeranga Valley is located east of Thames and its most famous walk is to the Pinnacles which is usually done as an overnight hike. There are many shorter walks in the area which take less than an hour or the Billygoat Circuit which takes 4-5 hours. The walks take you through regenerating native forest and past historic relics from the logging days.
Karangahake Gorge (Between Waihi and Paeroa)
The natural beauty of the Karanagahake Gorge is visible from the road, but stopping to explore some of the walks will lead you to stunning swimming holes, fascinating relics from the gold mining past and spectacular vistas. Two of the more popular walks are the Karangahake Windows Walk (1 hour/ 2.5km) and the Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway (2hrs one way).
Kauri Block Track (near Coromandel Township)
Just outside of Coromandel Town this new reserve offers spectacular views in every direction including the coast and inland Coromandel Ranges. Walk takes approximately 45 minutes one way.