Coromandel, North Island
You love landscape?
You love scenery?
You should not miss this peninsula!
Hills, bays, villages, twisty roads, houses glued to the cost, trees overlooking the bay - it's wonderful to drive, to walk, to explore it.
Immediately east of Auckland on the North Island is the Coromandel Pennisula, which is home to some beautiful beaches, great coastline, and some nice little towns.
Make sure you also have some of the famous Green Mussels in Coromandel. After that, take some time to drive down Highway 309 to see the Castle Rock and falls.
For more information check out my Coromandel Page on the link below.
We didn't have the greatest of weather as we travelled round the Coromandel, but it was still very picturesque.
We started at Thames, which is situated at the southern end of the peninsular, and travelled up the coast to Whitianga and down the other side to Hahei.
Some of the roads are quite bendy, but the views from the hilltops overlooking the bays are spectacular, and if anything the angry skies made it more so.
Many tourists visit the area for the Hot Water Beach where you can dig yourself your own spa pool when the tide is out, but unfortunately the tide was in when we got there and we didn't have enough time to wait ... ho hum, maybe next time.
Auckland is your landing point and there are plenty of vans there to rent.
With regard your route you could head South from the airport in Auckland, stay at the Miranda Hot pools the first night, then on to the Coromandel peninsula on the East Coast, travel to the top of the peninsula, cross to the Eastern side and travel South. Lots of beaches, hot pools, a goldmine in Waihi, see the river workings in the gorge and tramp through some tunnels. Then down to Tauranga, great scenery, through kiwifruit country, visit Mount Maunganui Surf beach, then inland to Rotorua. You'll visit thermal wonderland, watch a Maori Concert show and visit a Marae (Maori village), see the buried village (in an earthquake ages ago) see trout in gin clear rivers, travel through forest and lake country. Then inland to Lake Taupo, go trout fishing, see snow covered mountains. Then out to the coast again to Napier our Art Deco city, lots of wineries here, then down the East Coast to Masterton where there are more wineries and great sheep country, do a farm tour. Then inland to Palmerston North, university town, visit a magnificent car museum then amble into Wellington. There you can see our natonal museum Te Papa, possibly do a daily ferry trip to the South Island and back, then leave your vehicle and fly out. Sound good? If you need more detail let me know. And if you want hire rates just pop over to my site. www.campervanhirenz.net Enjoy your visit, John
As you can see on my other tip, it's really beautiful here. But with this picture you might have a better view where the Coromandel are.