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Whitianga is a beach town on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, on the north-eastern coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It is an excellent base to explore the east coast beaches and is a popular destination for visitors from Auckland and overseas.

Cathedral Cove


  • 1 Whitianga i-Site Visitor Centre66 Albert St. Daily.

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

Intercity Coachlines operate NZ's national bus network with daily departures. Tickets can be purchased online or throughout the country at numerous agents including the i-site network.

By car[edit]

It is 40 km and about 40 minutes drive north of Tairua, and 14 km (16 min) south of Kuaotunu.

Get around[edit]

By boat[edit]

The Whitianga passenger ferry runs continuously across Whitianga Harbour, between the Whitianga wharf on the Esplanade in the township and Ferry Landing on the Cook's Beach side.


Islands near Hahei
  • 1 Mercury Bay Museum11A The Esplanade. Daily 10am–4pm except Good Friday, 25 Apr (Anzac Day), 25 Dec; winter 11am–3pm except school holidays. Local history from early explorer Kupe, to later explorer Capt Cook, and onwards, also natural history. Adult $7.50, child $2.
  • Cathedral Cove, where the 2nd Chronicles of Narnia Film was filmed. Be sure to take your camera – you will recognize the arch!


  • Banana Boat +64 7 8665 617. Run by Steve and Kali Young at Buffalo Beach. Everyday between Boxing Day and 1 February. Fall off on the Hellbender or take the more relaxing Scenic ride. Great Value! $10-$30.




  • 1 Countdown24 Joan Gaskell Dr. Daily 7am–9pm. Supermarket.
  • 2 New World1 Joan Gaskell Dr. Daily 7am–9pm. Supermarket.
  • 3 Espy Cafe10 Esplanade. Daily from 7:30am, closing between 3:30pm & 5pm depending on day & season. On the waterfront esplanade, hence the name. Includes outdoor seating where you can watch the boats. Liquor license. Lunch $9.50–21.
  • 4 French Fig41 Albert St. Daily 7:30AM–5PM. Nice cafe.
  • 5 Jandals Cafe5 Albert St. Daily 7:30am–4pm. $12–22.50.


  • 6 Blue Ginger1/10 Blacksmith Lane. Lunch Tu-F 11am–2pm, dinner Tu–Sa 5pm-late. Southeast Asian food. Mains $22–28.
  • 7 Squids Bar & RestaurantShop 15, 1 Blacksmith Lane. Lunch M–F 11:30am–02:30pm, dinner daily 5:30–9pm (may vary). Specialises in seafood. Lunch $15–18, dinner seafood main $26–28, steak $32, desert $6–9.


  • 8 Poivre & Sel2 Mill Rd. Tu–Sa (with exceptions), occasionally Su, drinks from 5pm, dinner from 6pm. Fine French cuisine from French restaurateurs. Two courses $55, 3 courses $72.
  • 9 Salt Restaurant & Bar2 Blacksmith Lane. W–Th from 4pm, F–Su from 11.30am. Has a deck area looking out on the marina. Mains $29–42, desert $16.



  • 1 YHA Whitianga46 Buffalo Beach Road. Dorm beds from $24.30, rooms from $35.10.


Be sure to bring a sweater. It can be chilly sometimes. Also try to book in advance if there is anything you really want to do.

Go next[edit]

  • Hahei – not far due west as the crow flies, but 35 km (about half an hour) by road
  • Hot Water Beach, a popular and busy tourist destination half an hour's drive south, signposted off the main road to Tairua at Whenuakite. Water from two hot springs comes up through the sand within two hours each side of low tide, and you can dig your own hot pool. Spades for hire at the cafes for $5.
  • Kuaotunu – to the north
  • Tairua – very scenic location to the south
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