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Our top 9 attractions in the Waikato, Coromandel and Taupo region – Backpacking Tipps

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.

 

New Chums Beach Coromandel

New Chums Beach Coromandel

 

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.

 

Waiau Waterfall Coromandel

Waiau Waterfall Coromandel

 

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.

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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 Pinnacles Coromandel

The Pinnacles Coromandel

 

Owharoa Falls

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).

 

Owharoa Falls

Owharoa Falls

 

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.

 

Karangahake Window Walk

Karangahake Window Walk

 

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.

 

Ngarunui Beach & Manu Bay Beach in Raglan

Ngarunui Beach & Manu Bay Beach in Raglan

 

Aratiatia Rapids

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.

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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.

 

Aratiatia Rapids Taupo

Aratiatia Rapids Taupo

 

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.

 

Enjoy a bath in the Taupo Spa Park

Enjoy a bath in the Taupo Spa Park

 

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.

 

View from the Mount Tauhara Summit

View from the Mount Tauhara Summit

 

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!

 

 

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