Pacific Coast Highway
From $1350.00 per person
The Pacific Coast Highway, traversing the spectacular east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, is one of the great touring routes of the world. Linking the Coromandel, Bay of Plenty & Whakatane and Eastland with Auckland in the north and Hawke’s Bay in the south, the Pacific Coast Highway travels through a unique region where land and sea intermingle. Travelling around the Coromandel at this time of the year we see the full beauty of the Pohutukawa tree in full bloom. This stunning native tree adorns the coastline of the Coromandel Peninsula.
Saturday 24 November – Tuesday 27 November 2018 (4 Days)
Day 1 Saturday 24 November 2018 HOME CITIES TO COROMANDEL TOWN (D)
We commence our tour by travelling to Thames, where we will join on to the Pacific Coast Highway, along the western coast of the Coromandel Peninsula. The road to Coromandel Town clings to the edge of the coast. We’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. Upon arrival in Coromandel Town, we’ll enjoy a stroll through the village, before making our way to Driving Creek Railway & Potteries. This one our return trip on their uniquely designed trains takes us though replanted native kauri forest, and includes 2 spirals, 3 short tunnels, 5 reversing points and several large viaducts as we climb up to the mountain top to the Eyefull Tower, with magnificent views of the Hauraki Gulf. There is also a craft shop with distinctive works by their own potters and sculptors. From here we travel to our accommodation for a relaxing evening. Tonight we’ll enjoy a group dinner in town.
Accommodation: Anchor Lodge, Coromandel – 1 night
Day 2 Sunday 25 November 2018 COROMANDEL TO PAUANUI (BD)
After breakfast this morning, we depart Coromandel Town and travel around to Kuaotunu and Whitianga. While in Whitianga we enjoy a scenic cruise on board the Whitianga Glass Bottom Boat. On this two hour cruise, we view Cathedral Cove, sea caves, volcanic rock formations and pinnacles plus the marine reserve. Sit back and watch the awesome marine life through the glass panels of the boat. After our cruise, there will be time for a stroll around the shops and purchase lunch, before making our way to Hot Water Beach. Tides permitting, time will be available here for those wanting to bathe your feet in the warm water. We continue on our way to visit the settlement of Pauanui. Pauanui is a purpose built holiday community, which lies across the harbour from Tairua. It features Pauanui Waterways, the country’s first canal housing development. We will take a brief drive around the village, before making our way to our accommodation for the evening. Dinner tonight will be at a local restaurant in town.
Accommodation: Pauanui Pines Motor Lodge, Pauanui – 1 night
Day 3 Monday 26 November 2018 PAUANUI TO TAURANGA (BD)
Today we continue our journey along the Pacific Coast Highway, making our way down through the southeast coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, with our first stop being Whangamata. Famous for its unique combination of beach and rainforest, Whangamata’s amazing ocean beach provides some of the best surfing breaks, yet safest swimming in the country. We will have time available here for a cuppa along the beachfront, before having time to browse through the local shops. Our journey then takes us to Waihi, where we have our lunch stop for today (own cost), before visiting the Waihi Gold Discovery Centre for a gold mine tour. On this tour, we’ll see every stage of the process from ore extraction and crushing, through to final processing. There is plenty of massive mining equipment on show too. After the tour, we continue along to Tauranga, driving past Waihi Beach, Athenree, and Omokoroa en route. On arrival in Tauranga, there will be time available to browse the shops along Devonport Road, before checking into our accommodation for the evening. Our farewell dinner tonight will be included at the hotel.
Accommodation: Armitage Hotel, Tauranga – 1 night
Day 4 Tuesday 27 November 2018 Tauranga to Home Cities (B)
Today we enjoy the beach resort of Tauranga and Mt. Maunganui. Time to wander down the main street at Mount Maunganui, or for those feeling energetic there is time for a stroll around the base of the Mount. You might also enjoy a lovely soak in the hot salt water pools (own cost), or a relaxing walk along the beach. After lunch (own cost), we traverse over the Kaimai Ranges, and back to your home cities.