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About the Coromandel and its Attractions

The Coromandel is one of New Zealanders’ favourite destinations. It is within an hour and a half drive of the major centres of Auckland, Tauranga and Hamilton, and yet the region is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. Its coastal scenery, rugged forest and bush interior, white sandy beaches fringed with Pohutukawa trees, clear rocky streams, water falls, gardens, artist colonies and beach towns all provide endless opportunities to explore, experience and enjoy.

The area has a rich cultural heritage. Evidence of some of the earliest Polynesian settlement in New Zealand exists on the Coromandel. Historical interest points exist around every corner, telling the stories of the two great navigators Kupe and Cook and those who followed in their footsteps. In the nineteenth century the peninsula teemed with human activity associated with the exploitation of timber, gold and kauri gum. The first gold in New Zealand was discovered in Coromandel Town in 1852. The Coromandel is a rich and colourful creative hub with many studios and galleries showcasing some of New Zealand's most talented artists’ work.

Day Trips and Outings

Te Mata Lodge is centrally located on the Peninsula to allow you to experience the scenic beauty of the forest and bush, white sandy surf beaches, the magnificent views from the coastal roads and walkways as well as the unique destinations of water gardens, railways, craft trails and adventure activities. All major activities are within an hours drive from Te Mata Lodge.

Here are some of the activities that can be done on day trips from Te Mata Lodge

  • Fishing and shellfish gathering – fish off mussel barge, or cast a line off the coast, or launch your boat from the ramp or take a charter.
  • Bush and coastal walks – from half hour strolls to challenging all day walks
  • Vist Coromandel Town for the cafes, galleries, railway, museums, and stamper battery
  • Hot Water Beach – dig your own pool of hot water bubbling up from the sand
  • Walk, kayak or jet-boat to Cathedral Cove
  • Discover secluded white sand beaches, or go to the popular picture postcard beach towns - Whangapoa, Matarangi, Whitianga, Whangamata, Pauanui, Cooks Beach, Hahei and others
  • Stop in for a Pizza dinner at Luke's Kitchen in Kuaotune
  • Take the ferry from Whitianga to Ferry Landing and Cooks lookout
  • Walk amongst the giant kauri
  • Horse trek
  • Swim in a pool under the Waiau Waterfall
  • Boating - kayaking, jet boating, charter an historic launch
  • Craft trails and visit artist studios
  • Driving Creek Railway
  • Eat a meal of seafood and chips in the garden bar of the historic Tapu Pub
  • Experience the whimisical wonders of the Waiau Waterworks
  • Rapaura Watergardens – award winning and stunning with a delicious café on site
  • Goldmine stamper batteries – still operating. Pan for gold on site in Coromandel and Thames
  • Museums – Coromandel and Thames have rich historic museums of the pioneer era
  • Visit historic Grahamstown in Thames – Saturday market, boutique shops and bookstores, walking tour
  • Miranda Shorebird Centre and thermal hot pools
  • Ride a small gauge railway for nearly a kilometer along the Thames foreshore—and it costs just $2

Some of the day trips popular with our guests:

Bush and coastal walks

There are a range of walks, from half hour rambles to eight hour tramps which start within a half an hour drive from Te Mata Lodge, including Castle Rock. Waiomu Coast to Kauri, Rocky’s Goldmine Trail. Waiotahi Track and Waiau Falls. Slightly further afield to the north and south respectively are the famous Coromandel Coastal Walkway and the Pinnacles loop.

Coromandel Town and 309 Road

Just 30 minutes north is Coromandel Town, renowned for its crafts, cafes, gourmet shops and attractions - Driving Creek Railway, Stamper Battery and the 309 Road’s Waiau Waterworks, Waiau Falls and Kauri Grove.


Get out for a full day of fishing or cruising with Thames Charters. Fish the Firth of Thames, Mussel farms, Hauraki Gulf and Coromandel Islands. The type of fish you are likely to catch are snapper, kahawai (the fish of Kings), king fish, trevally, John Dory, gurnard. Give is a call if you are interested in a packaged deal.

Great fishing off the barge which leaves from Te Kouma wharf twice each day, or throw out a line at the Mexican Hat in Te Mata Bay, or in any of the bays along the coast. Boat ramps at Waikawau just 5 minutes drive north of Te Mata. Gather mussels, pipis, cockles and oysters in Te Mata Bay.

Travel to the northern tip of the Peninsula

The drive to Fletchers Bay at the northern tip of the Peninsula takes you through Coromandel town, Colville and along one of the most scenic coastal roads in new Zealand.