What you should definitely see in the Waikato area
Today we have our personal highlights from the region around Waikato, Taupo and Coromandel. The region is rich in hiking, geothermal sites (hot springs) and some beautiful walks. One of them has even been awarded the title “loneliest beach” by the Lonely Planet. Have fun discovering and being inspired.
New Chums Beach
New Chums Beach is located on the Coromandel Peninsula. Only 30 minutes from the car park you can experience a great lonely beach. The short walk is including a small crossing of the creek. Pay attention to the tides, because at high tide you can stand in the water until the construction is finished. At low tide you can only go up to your knees.
New Chums Beach offers a great beach for a relaxing day at the beach. During the week you can be alone on the beach. At the weekend it is often busier.
Waiau Kauri Grove & Waiau Waterfall
Along the infamous Coromandel Road 309 there are two short stops just a few metres apart. At Waiau Kauri Grove, there is the only opportunity in New Zealand to hug a Kauri tree. The short walk takes about 30 minutes. Please use the provided disinfection facilities to protect the Kauri trees.
The Waiau Waterfall is perfect for a short swim on a sunny day. Both places are only about 100 meters apart.
The Pinnacles Coromandel
The Pinnacles are also located on the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula. The Pinnacles in Coromandel, however, have nothing to do with the Putangirua Pinnacles.
The Pinnacles can be done as a day hike. But there is also a hut and a camping site for your tent just before the top of the striking rocks. You have to book these overnight stays at the Pinnacles in advance.
If you don't want to hike up and down the same route, you can use the Billy Goat Track for the ascent. This takes you up an old path that used to be used by the forestry industry to get their logs into the valley.
Have fun hiking, we did the hike ourselves in 2016 and climbed the summit.
The Owharoa Falls are located directly on State Highway 2 (SH2) and are known for their beautiful shape. If the weather is good you can also take a small bath in the pool. For fans of long-exposure photography, here it is worth using an ND filter in daylight. Have fun (let us know how the bath was).
Karangahake Gorge Windows Walk
The Karangahake Gorge Window Walk is a great walk. Here you can find the historic remains of the Crown Mines. And some of the old mine tunnels are still passable. Grab a torch or headlamp and go on an exciting short walk through the old tunnels.
Ngarunui Beach & Manu Bay Beach in Raglan
The two beaches are directly on the west coast near Raglan. Among others, the two strands Ngarunui Beach and Manu Bay Beach are perfect for surfing. Want to learn to surf? Then Raglan is a perfect spot for you.
The Aratiatia Rapids actually only became famous through the Lord of the Rings films. Through the Waikato River, the water here is drained from the Aratiatia Dam at certain times. This allows the historic watercourse to retain its natural diversity and still use the water for energy production.
At 10, 12 and 14 o'clock (in summer a fourth time at 16 o'clock) the time has come and the lock gates open.
Taupo Spa Thermal Park
My personal highlight in Taupo. In the Taupo Spa Thermal Park, you can spend a relaxing day (or a few hours). Access is easy and there are changing rooms on site.
The Taupo Spa Park is a small warm stream where you can sit and enjoy the sun. The warm water relaxes your muscles and the entrance is even free.
Mount Tauhara Summit
Mount Tauhara is the highest point around Taupo. Therefore, here is the hike to the top, especially a tip for those who like to enjoy the view.
The path to the summit leads through meadows and a narrow footpath. The view is good for that and there are also some great photo opportunities. But be aware that the path is narrow and muddy in some places. The hike itself takes about 2 hours return and is 7.5 km long.
Questions, comments or further tips
Do you have any other tips for the Waikato region? Then we look forward to your comment here under the articles.
More posts to the New Zealand Regions
We have made a map for your easy navigation, with which you can visit the respective contribution to the region directly. Have a look around what we like in the other regions!
Ask us anything
We run this blog so you can have a great time in New Zealand. All the articles and videos are free for anyone.
If you want to ask an individual question about Newzealand, your working holiday or anything else around travelling New Zealand, then this is your chance.
Even it always looks like holiday, this website and the project is a fulltime business. So you can support us with any question if you'd like.
Simply click the button and ask us, in exchange for your answer you can give what you value our time.
If every visitor would support us with 1€ per year, our business would be up running for long times. Therefore we count on your support!
A big thank you from the depth of our hearts. Julian & the team of Project-Newzealand