Top 10 Experiences on the Pacific Coast Highway

Exhilarating adventure, active volcanoes and glorious art deco can be found along the Pacific Coast Highway.

Go wild on Waiheke Island

Auckland's spectacular Waiheke Island is famed for its boutique vineyards and sandy beaches. But there's plenty more to see and do. Why not get your adrenalin pumping on a zipline tour through native forest? Soar above the treetops and catch a birdseye view of the sparkling Hauraki Gulf.

Visit an active marine volcano

One of the world's most accessible volcanoes, White Island's Maori name, Whakaari, literally translates to “the dramatic volcano”. Put on your hard hat and gas mask before taking a tour of the extraordinary crater, where you'll encounter bubbling mud pits, steaming vents and hot volcanic streams. 

Admire Napier's Art Deco architecture

Step back in time in Napier, one of the purest Art Deco cities in the world. When the city was flattened by an earthquake in 1931, it was rebuilt in the style of the times; geometric shapes, sunbursts and simple, clean lines. Treat yourself to a vintage car tour of the city to relive the glamour of the jazz era.

Dig your own hot pool

Bring a spade (or hire one from the local cafes) and dig your own hot pool at Hot Water Beach, where naturally-heated mineral water bubbles beneath the golden sand. After digging out your own DIY spa, all that's left is to do is sit back, relax and listen to the thundering waves just metres away.

Get out on the water in Auckland

Known as the "City of Sails", Auckland Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf boast over a million hectares of sparkling blue waters. Take a sunset kayak tour to Rangitoto, hop on a whale and dolphin safari or enjoy an afternoon of sailing on a relaxing harbour cruise.

Immerse yourself in Maori culture

Learn about Maori history in Rotorua, the cultural heart of New Zealand. Visit Te Puia, Mitai Village or Tamaki Village for an experience that combines singing, dancing and haka (war dances) with delicious food. Finish your day with a night-time treewalk in the nearby Redwoods forest.

Watch the sun set from Mt Maunganui

For panoramic views of the Bay of Plenty and the vast Pacific Ocean, get your hiking shoes on and follow the track to the summit of Mauao, Mt Maunganui. At 230 metres above sea level, you will be rewarded for your efforts with that Instagram-perfect photo.

Cycle the Hauraki Rail Trail

Discover historic Coromandel on this easy cycle trail that takes you past old gold-mining sites, idyllic countryside and characterful towns. Hire a bike and set off on a fascinating journey along the Hauraki Rail Trail, one of New Zealand's 22 Great Rides

Sip wine in Hawke's Bay

Blessed with beautiful sunshine and fertile land, Hawke's Bay is one of New Zealand's top wine-growing regions. Hire a bicycle and explore the specially-created trails that link towns and wineries or discover hidden gems on a guided tour. Don't leave without trying a glass of merlot or chardonnay!

Kayak to Cathedral Cove

There's no better way to get to the famous Cathedral Cove than by kayak. Starting out on Hahei Beach, paddle across glistening water and through sea caves before landing on the white-sand shore. Marvel at the naturally-formed archway, find a shady spot to picnic and take a well-earned dip.

Next on your journey

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