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If you’ve never spent a summer holiday in one of the North Island’s favourite getaway spots, what are you waiting for?
With a history as a timber port but now very much a beachside resort town, Whitianga in Mercury Bay is popular as a base from which to explore the nearby natural attractions of Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach, as well as the wider Coromandel region. Whitianga itself is very popular with travellers in summer and provides all the essential services you need if you plan on going camping or attending a festival nearby. There are also plenty of good cafés and restaurants to check out, and heaps of activities to keep you and the whānau busy, if spending hours on a beach with a good book isn’t quite enough for you.
Kayaking, mountain biking, walking, fishing, golf and scenic cruises are all on offer in and around the town. Fantastic beaches are within easy reach, including Buffalo Beach and Hot Water Beach, where you can dig your own hot pool in the sand. Grab a spade at low tide and target the area ahead of a rocky outcrop in the middle of the beach, then dig until you hit hot water!
Also well worth a visit is the spectacular limestone arch at Cathedral Cove. You can reach it with a 30-minute walk to the beach from the small town of Hahei (east of Whitianga), or see it from the ocean in a sea kayak. To find out more, check out thecoromandel.com.