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North Island: Coastal Loop Itinerary

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Auckland - Coromandel - Raglan

Enjoy this scenic itinerary out of Auckland and explore the Coromandel and Waikato regions in comfort.

As Britz eVolve is a fully electric vehicle, we do not recommend freedom camping as not all features of the campervan will be available, such as the cooktop or microwave.

 

Travel

8-9 days


Route

Auckland to Auckland

741km


Best Time of the Year

November to March

Highlights

  • Coromandel Town
  • New Chum Beach
  • Hot Water Beach
  • Waihi Beach
  • Hauraki Rail Trail
  • Waitomo Caves
  • Raglan

The Journey

Days

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Coromandel Town Facebook

Day 1
Auckland to Coromandel Town via Thames

Distance 158km - Driving Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Head south out of Auckland, and your getaway starts as soon as you turn off the SH2 and enter the Coromandel. 

Stop off at the Blueberry Orchard in Ngatea or Piako Pete's for some delicious local smoked fish and homegrown fare for your road trip.

For your first charge, stop off in the old mining town of Thames, famous in the gold mining era and home to heritage attractions.

The coastal road north up the eastern edge of the Hauraki Gulf is lined with Pohutukawa trees, and a short detour to the Square Kauri tree on the Tapu-Coroglen Road is a worthwhile diversion.

Stop for lunch at Koru Cafe and visit the Rapaura Watergardens on the way. The view from Kereta Hill as your descend to Coromandel Town merits a photo stop.

Finish your day in Coromandel Town at Shelly Beach Top 10 Holiday Park.

Optional add on: Overnight in Miranda (Auckland to Miranda, 87km, 1 hour 30 minutes).

Day Charging:

Thames:

Coromandel Town:

Overnight Charging:

  • Holiday Park: Medium charge at site overnight and between day trips
  • Recommended Charge: charge to 100% overnight

Highlights:

  • Piako Petes. The best smoked fish and fresh flounder.
  • Blueberry Orchard. Best thing for a hot day. Pick some berries and grab yourself an icecream!
  • Koru Cafe. Indulge yourself with some home-baked delights, 'dam good' coffees, hearty soups and scrumptious sandwiches.
  • Square Kauri. Climb a short track to marvel at an unusual square trunked kauri and enjoy the view across to Maumaupaki on the main Coromandel Range.

 

Coromandel Adventures

Day 2
Explore Coromandel Town

A two-night stay in this northern-most town gives you plenty of time to walk the Coromandel Coastal Walkway and head out on the sheltered harbour for a spot of Mussel Barge fishing, before checking out the untouched splendour of New Chum Beach.

Day Charging:

Coromandel Town:

Overnight Charging:

  • Holiday Park: Medium charge at site overnight and between day trips
  • Recommended Charge: Charge to 100% overnight

 Highlights:

  • Mussel Barge Fishing. Your chance to hook a big one on a charter fishing boat.
  • New Chum Beach. Voted one of the world's top 10 beaches - New Chum features stretches of golden sand, native forest and beautiful views to enjoy! 21lkm and 30 mins from Coromandel Town.
  • Wharf Road Cafe. Excellent Allpress coffee, beautiful food, sweet vibe - in the middle of town. A great breakfast or lunch option.
  • Driving Creek Railway. 1 hour railway journey, combining art, conservation and engineering.
  • Waiau Falls and Kauri Grove. Visit a popular swimming hole at Waiau Falls and view a mature kauri grove on this walk (30 mins).
  • Bush E-Bikes. Explore the Coromandel by ebike, what better way to see the country side.
  • Coromandel Oyster Co. Local seafood sensations in a beautiful seaside setting.
  • Coromandel Coastal Walkway. Walk the Coromandel Coastal Walkway & discover beautiful beaches, quiet nature and twinkling bays.

 

Kuaotunu Camp

Day 3
Coromandel Town to Whitianga via Kuaotunu

Distance 50km - Driving Time 1 hour

Today we'd recommended you take the slightly longer coastal route to Whitianga via the gorgeous coastal village of Kuaotunu, stopping along the way at Matarangi Beach.

Kuaotunu has been famous for the enormous icecreams sold at the local store, the coffee at the Art Gallery cafe, and of course the seafood that jumps onto fishing lines out in the bay.

Ready for something to eat? Luke's Kitchen is a great choice, located at Kuaotunu Beach. This is a rustic pizza joint, established by Luke behind the local dairy with a million-dollar view over the bay. Whitianga, the largest town in the Coromandel is an easy 15 minute drive over the hill from Kuaotunu. Head east over the Coromandel Ranges, where you'll find the white sand surf beaches of the eastern seaboard, providing plenty of excuses to stop.

You can always pop into the Mercury Bay Holiday Park to check in, freshen up for dinner and head back over the hill to Luke's to catch the incredible sunsets, and if you are after more stargazing, head up to the observatory to get a closer look at the night sky.

Holiday Park: Mercury Bay Holiday Park

Day Charging:

Coromandel Town:

Overnight Charging:

  • Holiday Park: Medium charge at site overnight and between day trips
  • Recommended Charge: Charge to 100% overnight

Highlights:

  • Local store. Famous for the enormous icecreams!
  • Luke's Kitchen. Rustic pizza joint with million dollar views over the bay.
  • Stargazers Observatory. A chance to view our spectacular Southern Hemisphere sky under dark conditions.
  • Mercury Bay. Large V-shaped bay on the eastern coast of the Coromandel Peninsula.
  • Mercury Bay Estate. A boutique Winery & Restaurant located at Cooks Beach overlooking the beautiful Mercury Bay.

Day 4
Whitianga to Hot Water Beach

Distance 33km - Driving Time 30 minutes

With only a 30min drive to Hot Water Beach, you could afford to spend a wee bit more time exploring the surrounding area before departing!

Especially with Whitianga being a great kick off point for a boat trip to explore the sheltered Mercury Bay and the Te-Whanganui-a-Hei Marine Reserve off Cathedral Cove.

Once you've had your fill of salty ocean air, get back on the road heading for Hot Water Beach, which is a unique kiwi experience! An underground river of hot water flows from the interior of the Earth to surface in the Pacific Ocean just off shore at Hot Water Beach.

Holiday Parks:

Day Charging:

Whitianga:

  • Fast charge top up before departing
  • Recommended Charge: Charge to 80%

Overnight Charging:

  • Holiday Park: Medium charge at site overnight and between day trips.
  • Recommended Charge: Charge to 100% overnight

Highlights:

  • Te Whanganui-A-Hei-Marine Reserve. Protected area of bays, coves and beaches, with a snorkel trail, boat rentals and rock formations.
  • Lost Spring. Forget the real world for a day and be transported to a magical place. Geo-thermal pools, restaurant and day spa, a great place for a few hours of pampering.
  • Whitianga Beach. Buffalo Beach is the main beach for Whitianga which is a large town with all services. The beach is fine for swimming, boating and even fishing off.
  • The Church Bistro Hahei. The Church Bistro is housed in the original church building from the early 1900s. You can expect to see simple, Kiwi style, European inspired food, plus seasonal and regular specials.
  • Hot Water Beach. Two hours either side of low tide, underground natural hot springs filder up the sand - take a spade and dig your own hot pool!
  • Hotties Cafe. Epic views over Hot Water Beach.
  • Cathedral Cove. Accessible only on foot, boat or kayak, the famous Cathedral Cove is one of the must see spots on the Coromandel. Cathedral Cove is located in Hahei, just 10 minutes drive from the famous Hot Water Beach. Track begins northern end of Hahei.

Day 5
Hot Water Beach to Waihi via Tairua

Distance 99km - Driving Time 1 hour 40 minutes

Tairua is an excellent base to explore the east coast and offshore islands or the craggy mountainous backdrop to the west. The twin peaks of Mt Paku guard the harbour entrance and provide a 360 degree view from the Aldermen Islands round to The Pinnacles in The Coromandel Forest Park.

Tairua is only minutes away from bush and kauri grove walks, old mines and caves and Pauanui is only a short ferry ride across the harbour. The offshire islands of Slipper, Shoe and the Aldermen Islands can also be explored by booking a trip with local dive and fishing charters.

There are some great foodie options in Tairua, ifyou know where to look!

The beaches along the east coast are favourites for fishing, surfing and swimming. Whangamata is home of a legendary left hand break and is also on your journey for this leg. Take a break from driving for a surf or SUP lesson.

 

Waihi Beach, just 10km from Waihi, offers 9km of sweeping white sand and is one of the safer surf beaches in New Zealand. 

Stay at Waihi Beach for 2 nights to give you enough time to explore the many beautiful sights and indulge in the delicious eating options.

Waihi has a gold mining history spanning three centuries and a local open-pit mine that is still fully operational.

The Ohinemuri River flows through Waihi on its way to the 'must-do' Karangahake Gorge. In the gorge you can fish for trout, take walks through old mining tunnels and relics, or cycle the Hauraki Rail Trail.

Holiday Park:

Day Charging:

Tairua:

  • Fast charge at ChargeNet charger
  • Recommended Charge: Charge to 80%
  • 6 Tokoroa Road

Whangamata:

  • Fast charge at ChargeNet charger
  • Recommended Charge: Charge to 80%
  • 100 Hetherington Road

Overnight Charging:

  • Holiday Park: medium charge at site overnight and between day trips
  • Recommended Charge: Charge to 100% overnight

Highlights:

  • Marina Bar & Grill. Boasts the best view in town and the two resident chefs have an enviable resume.
  • Flock Kitchen & Bar. A little place for people to share a meal, share a drink and share a laugh. Fresh produce, organic coffee and NZ made craft beer are just some of the items served on the sunny tables.
  • Old Mill Cafe. The perfect place for a delicious brunch or lunch or that relaxing afternoon wine with friends.
  • Mt. Paku Summit. 15 minute walk through bush overlooking parts of Tairua and the ocean. Spectacular views!
  • Karangahake Gorge. The breathtaking Karangahake Gorge is a walker's paradise with an abundance of walkways and old tunnels where you can discover the rich history. The Windows Walkway would have to rate as one of the most stunning in the area.
  • Hauraki Rail Trail. Showcases some of the best scenery New Zealand has to offer and is rich in pionerring history. An easy ride, 173km track made up of 5 sections.
  • Yoga at Waihi Beach Hotel. Unwind & relax.
  • Flatwhite Cafe. A stunning beach front location just a short stroll from the holiday park.

Day 6
Waihi Beach to Waitomo

Distance 168km - Driving Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Head to Waitomo via Cambridge on SH2.

An optional side trip once you've charged up the eVolve is to head to Matamata, just a 30min drive from the ChargeNet DC charger in Cambridge.

Matamata is a town in the shadow of the Kaimai Range Mountains, on New Zealand’s North Island. Southwest of town, the Hobbiton Movie Set was created for Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” films. To the northeast, a trail leads to Wairere Falls, with views over the Waikato Plains. The Firth Tower Museum has heritage buildings, including a school and a jail, that chronicle the region’s settler history.

Waitomo is a village on the North Island of New Zealand. It’s known for its extensive underground cave systems. Thousands of glow-worms light up the Waitomo Glowworm Caves.

The vast Ruakuri Cave features waterfalls and limestone formations. West, Mangapohue Natural Bridge is a high limestone arch over Mangapohue Stream. Northeast of the village, Otorohanga Kiwi House shelters several species of the rare native kiwi bird.

Optional add on: Overnight in Cambridge (Waihi Beach - Cambridge, 107km 1hr 32min)

Holiday Park:

Day Charging:

Waihi Town:

  • Fast charge at ChargeNet charger
  • Recommended Charge: Charge to 80%
  • 35 Kenny Street

Cambridge:

  • Fast charge at ChargeNet charger
  • Recommended Charge: Charge to 80%
  • 73 Queen Street

Overnight Charging:

  • Holiday Park: Medium charge at site overnight and between day trips
  • Recommended Charge: Charge to 100% overnight

Highlights:

TNZ Image Library - Camilla Rutherford

Day 7
Waitomo to Raglan

Distance 92km - Driving Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Raglan is a coastal town in the Waikato region of New Zealand’s North Island. It’s known for black-sand Ngarunui Beach and the long surf break at Manu Bay. Local history exhibits at the Raglan & District Museum include apothecary items and surfing memorabilia. To the south, native forest surrounds the tall Bridal Veil FallsMount Karioi is an extinct, forest-clad volcano with summit views over the Tasman Sea. A great selection of brilliant eateries will keep your appetite satisfied whilst you explore this wonderful laid back surf town.

Holiday Park:

Day Charging:

Te Awamutu:

  • Fast charge en route to Raglan
  • Recommended Charge: Charge to 80% 
  • 10 Scout Lane

Raglan:

  • Fast charge at Wel Networks charger
  • Recommended Charge: Charge to 80%
  • 43 Bow Street

Overnight Charging:

  • Holiday Park: Medium charge at site overnight and between day trips
  • Recommended Charge: Charge to 100% overnight.

Highlights:

  • Harbour View Hotel. For a classic NZ pub meal and refreshment (sit on the 'verandabah' and watch the world go by.
  • Ngarunui Beach. Learn to surf or just hang out at this beautiful black sand beach.
  • Mount Karioi Walkway. Challenging half day hike, rewards you with spectacular views.
  • The Shack. The best breakfast/brunch in Raglan.
  • Yot Club. Catch a live gig or DJ set.
  • Raglan Roast. Brilliantly roasted coffee fix - including Te Uku Roast office for a roadie coffee on the way back to Auckland.
  • Te Kopua Beach. Do some bombs or eat an ice cream with the locals.
  • Manu Bay. Watch some of the NZ best surfers at this world famous left hand break.

 

Day 8
Raglan to Auckland

Distance 141km - Driving Time 2 hours

Grab some breakfast and prepare to headback to the Auckland depot to return your campervan.

Day Charging:

Te Kauwhata: