A campervan road trip from Auckland to Coromandel is a favourite with locals and visitors alike. From the diverse and vibrant cityscape of Auckland to the tranquil beaches and beauty of the Coromandel, this road trip offers an exciting and memorable New Zealand campervan holiday with a little bit of everything along the way.
Start your ultimate campervan journey in Auckland City where you can wander the waterfront, climb a volcano, enjoy the fabulous café and restaurant scene, and shop till you drop! Then, head out of the city and get ready to relax and switch down a gear to the leisurely pace of the super chilled Coromandel. We’re talking white sandy beaches, waterfalls, bush walks, fun on the water, and simply soaking up the serenity.
Auckland to Coromandel
Best Time of the Year
- Cathedral Cove
- Hot Water Beach
- The Lost Spring
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Your exciting New Zealand campervan holiday starts in Auckland as you pick up your camper from Britz Auckland.
Head into the city and experience the sights, sounds, tastes, and shopping of the CBD. A good spot to park for a few hours is at the Jellicoe Street Carpark – drive to the end of Beaumont Street and turn right into the carpark, or you may find parking along some of the side streets. Note: all parking in central Auckland incurs parking fees, so remember to pay at the nearest parking metre. From here, you can wander along the Wynyard Quarter, stop for lunch or coffee at one of the many cafes and restaurants around the waterfront, and enjoy shopping at Britomart or on Queen Street where you’ll find everything from gelato to Gucci!
Next, head along to the Auckland Art Gallery where you can see the latest exhibitions, watch a live performance, or try your hand at creating your own art with a drawing class. For a little history and culture, visit the Auckland War Memorial Museum and see the latest collections and exhibits including the Māori galleries, natural history galleries, and Weird & Wonderful Imaginarium.
For a taste of Auckland, have a bite to eat at Ponsonby’s iconic Prego restaurant. Their pizzas are delicious! And for all the fun of the fair, head to Archie Brothers arcade in Newmarket – a circus-themed funhouse with retro games, dodgems, virtual reality, XD theatre, carousels and more.
Fancy an island getaway? Park the camper and board a cruise to the volcanic island of Rangitoto. Cruises run several times a day so you can spend a whole day exploring, or just a few hours enjoying the scenery and a picnic. When it’s time to put your feet up for the night, head to Avondale Motor Park and enjoy a good sleep before heading south.
Auckland to Miranda
Distance 79.7km - Driving Time 1 hour
Now that you’ve enjoyed some of the fun things to do in Auckland City, it’s time to kick back and enjoy a more relaxed pace. But first, grab a bite to eat before you leave Avondale at Browne St cafe. We recommend the ‘Huntsman’ for those with big appetites!
You don’t have too far to drive today, just an hour as you head to the coastal village of Miranda. This small township is popular with campervan travellers and a great first stop on your road trip to Coromandel.
Start with a visit to the Miranda Shorebird Centre where you can learn about the fascinating birdlife in this special spot, including godwits, NZ dotterels, oystercatchers, and more. Take a walk along the 2km track to the bird hides for the best views.
From the Shorebird Centre, it’s a 20-minute drive along East Coast Road to Waharau Regional Park where you can enjoy a picnic or a bush walk.
Another handy spot to Miranda – just a short 15 minute drive away – is the picturesque Ngatea Water Gardens where you can see waterfalls, magical fountains, and friendly birds. There’s even a Can Museum which holds a collection of 10,000 beer, soft drink and unusual cans from around the world.
Park up for the night at Miranda Holiday Park, where you can enjoy a hot soak in therapeutic mineral pools. There’s loads of great activities here for kids too, including a flying fox, BMX track, trike hire, and a playground.
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Miranda to Thames
Distance 34.4km - Driving Time 28 mins
Wake up bright and early on day three and have a relaxed breakfast at Miranda Farm shop and café before you head off.
Drive for 40 minutes along SH25 until you reach the historical township of Thames. Known as the gateway to the Coromandel, Thames was once a gold mining settlement with miners flocking to the area in the late 1870s to find their fortune. Today, you can still try your hand at gold panning at the Thames Goldmine Experience. Take a guided tour, explore the museum, and see if you can strike it rich!
Make time to browse the boutique shops and enjoy a good coffee at the northern end of Thames, also known as Grahamstown, and treat yourself to a great meal at Gastronomics on Pollen Street.
Just 15 minutes’ drive from the town, along Kauaeranga Valley Road, is the Kauaeranga Visitor Centre. Call in to learn more about the history of the region or to enjoy one of the short walks or longer hikes around the valley.
Another must-do for keen walkers is the Pinnacles Track. There are three routes, each about 45 minutes’ walk, that lead to the Putangirua Pinnacles or the Pinnacles lookout.
For a comfortable stay, park up the campervan for the night at Dickson Holiday Park on Victoria Street.
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Thames to Coromandel
Distance 54.2km - Driving Time 1 hour
From Thames, it’s a relaxing one-hour drive to Coromandel Town. There is a long list of fun things to do in Coromandel, from exploring the incredible bays and beaches, enjoying tranquil scenic walks, and browsing the boutique shops.
Start with a visit to Long Bay, the closest beach to Coromandel Town. The bay is surrounded by lush bush and is a great place to unwind and appreciate the beauty of this unique region. While you’re here, take a walk to Tuck’s Bay and around the Kauri Block Walk. Be sure to venture up the side track which leads to a Māori pa site with spectacular views.
Another great Coromandel attraction is the Driving Creek Railway, New Zealand’s only narrow-gauge mountain railway. The scenic one-hour return journey climbs through native kauri forest and goes through spirals, tunnels, and over bridges. After your journey, check out the pottery workshop and gallery.
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Coromandel Town to Whitianga
Distance 44.2km - Driving Time 49 mins
On day five of your road trip, pack up the campervan and head along SH25 for a one-hour drive to another of the region’s beachside townships, Whitianga. On your way, take a detour at Whangapoua Road and visit one of the world’s top 10 beaches, New Chums Beach. This pristine spot is a jewel in the crown of the Coromandel region with its white sandy shores and long curved coastline. You’ll need to pack your walking shoes though, it’s a 30–40-minute walk from Whangapoua Beach car park via the Mangakahia Drive track, but it’s totally worth it!
Once you’ve arrived in Whitianga, indulge in a taste of the region with a meal at Mercury Bay Estate. Take in the views over the vineyard to the bay as you enjoy a gourmet platter or woodfired pizza matched with their estate-grown wines. Yum!
Keen to learn more about the early history of the area? Call in to the Mercury Bay Museum and check out exhibits about the Polynesian navigator Kupe, Māori artifacts, and James Cook.
One of Whitianga’s star attractions is The Lost Spring. Soak your muscles in the 16,000-year-old geothermal mineral water springs or be pampered in the tree top day spa. You deserve it!
To top off an amazing day, settle in for the night in the comfy surrounds of the Harbourside Holiday Park on Albert Street.
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Whitianga to Cathedral Cove
Distance 36.5km - Driving Time 36 mins
Just 35 minutes’ drive from Whitianga along SH25, Cathedral Cove is an absolute must-do Coromandel attraction – definitely one for your Instagram! This iconic beach is accessible on foot only. The best option is to park up at the visitor carpark on Pa Road and catch the shuttle which will drop you at the start of the Cathedral Cove track. You can also walk from the access point at the northern end of Hahei Beach.
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Cathedral Cove to Hot Water Beach
Distance 9.5km - Driving Time 12 mins
Spend the last day of your amazing road trip relaxing at Hahei’s Hot Water Beach. Try and time your visit for two hours either side of low tide to dig into the sand and create your own natural hot spa pool. Hire a spade for digging from the surf store next to the carpark.
After a good soak, head over the road to the Moko Artspace. This beachside gallery showcases glassworks, paintings, ceramics, jewellery, and sculptures from more than 100 New Zealand artists.
For a taste of the ocean, head to Hotties beachfront eatery and tuck into a plate of fish n’ chips or some green lipped mussels as you take in the ocean view.
It’s the last night of your Coromandel road trip before heading back to the big smoke, so plan a night’s stay at the award-winning Hot Water Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park on Hot Water Beach Road.
Ready to explore Auckland and Coromandel?
Don’t put off your Auckland to Coromandel road trip any longer! Book your Britz camper today and start planning for the holiday of a lifetime.