North Island trips

Auckland to Wellington via East Coast

6 Days
1275km
793mi

Route

Auckland Central to Wellington Central

Highlights

  • Coromandel Town
  • Beach at Mt Maunganui
  • Walk through Napier

Best time of year

All year

This is the beach lover’s route to Wellington, with a serving of vineyards on the side. Kick off with the urban and marine pleasures of Auckland, then move on to the tranquil bays of the Coromandel coast. Over the ranges you’ll find a series of surf beaches that just doesn’t stop.

After the sunny city of Tauranga, head inland to the geothermal parks of Rotorua. Nip back to the coast to find Opotiki, then begin the memorable journey around the edge of East Cape.

The vineyards of Gisborne, Napier and Hastings should be investigated before you drive on to the heritage and cultural attractions of Wellington.

Info

The secluded coves & white sand beaches of The Coromandel are picture-perfect.

Photo by Andre Haruk

Day 1

Auckland - Coromandel Town - Whitianga

3 hrs

2 mins

214 km

133 mi

Auckland

Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, is situated between two enormous harbours and dotted with 48 extinct volcanic cones. It’s a place to enjoy marine adventures, wine trails, forest walks and urban sophistication.

The historic township of Thames was founded during the Coromandel gold rush. It’s a great place for walks – around the town, through the bush and on the mangrove board walk. The mining museum has a fascinating mineralogical collection and there are gold mining relics to discover on many of the bush walks. You can also take the boardwalk through the mangroves to watch seabirds in the Thames Firth.

The road to Coromandel clings to the edge of the coast. You’ll enjoy amazing views and a constant procession of beautiful beaches fringed with Pohutukawa trees.

Formerly a gold-mining and timber town, Coromandel is now a haven for artists, craftspeople and conservationists. It has many well-preserved Victorian buildings and an interesting museum. There are several good walks in the area and a railway enthusiast has created an hour-long train trip at Driving Creek.

The beach town of Whitianga is home to a fishing fleet - expect to eat some excellent seafood while you’re here. Best things to do include surfing, surf casting and beach walks.

Auckland Central

Start in Auckland Central

This is the heart of Auckland, with a relaxed Pacific vibe by day and a night-time energy shared by the inner-city suburbs that surround it.

Whitianga, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

End in Whitianga

From Whitianga you can enjoy the beaches and boat excursions of Mercury Bay. This town is home to a fishing fleet - expect great seafood!

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