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Waikato & Coromandel Peninsula Why Go? Verdant rolling hills line New Zealand’s mighty Waikato River, and adrenaline junkies can surf at Raglan, or under- take extreme underground pursuits in the extraordinary Waitomo Caves. But this is also Tainui country. In the 1850s this powerful Maori tribal coalition elected a king to resist the loss of land and sovereignty. The fertile Waikato was forcibly taken from them, but they retained control of the rugged King Country to within a whisper of the 20th century. To the northeast, the Coromandel Peninsula juts into the Pacific, forming the Hauraki Gulf’s eastern boundary. The peninsula’s east coast has some of the North Island’s best white-sand beaches, and the muddy wetlands and pictur- esque stony bays of the west coast have long been a refuge for alternative lifestylers. Down the middle, the mountains are criss-crossed with walking tracks, allowing trampers to explore large tracts of isolated bush studded with kauri trees. When to Go ¨ Beachy accommodation in Waihi, Whitianga, Whangamata and Raglan peaks across the summer holidays from Christmas until the end of January. New Year’s Eve in particular can be very busy. ¨ Balmy February and March are much quieter around the Coromandel Peninsula with settled weather and smaller crowds. Rainfall peaks in the mountainous Coromandel region from May to September. ¨ The Waikato region can see summer droughts, but the southern area around Taumarunui is often wetter and colder. ¨ If you avoid the height of summer school holidays (Christmas to January), accommodation is plentiful in the Waikato region. ¨ Raglan’s surf breaks are popular year-round. Best Outdoors ¨ New Chum’s Beach (p185) ¨ Cathedral Cove (p189) ¨ Otama Beach (p185) ¨ Surfing at Manu Bay (p160) ¨ Black-water rafting at Waitomo Caves (p169) Best Places to Stay ¨ Wairua Lodge (p186) ¨ Driving Creek Villas (p183) ¨ Purangi Garden Accommodation (p190) ¨ Solscape (p160) Waikato.......................149 Hamilton..................... 151 Raglan......................... 157 Cambridge..................163 Matamata .................. 164 Te Aroha......................165 Waitomo Caves ..........169 Thames....................... 178 Coromandel Town ...... 181 Whitianga .................. 186 Hahei ......................... 189 Waihi & Around...........193 ©Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd

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Waikato & Coromandel Peninsula

Why Go?Verdant rolling hills line New Zealand’s mighty Waikato River, and adrenaline junkies can surf at Raglan, or under-take extreme underground pursuits in the extraordinary Waitomo Caves.

But this is also Tainui country. In the 1850s this powerful Maori tribal coalition elected a king to resist the loss of land and sovereignty. The fertile Waikato was forcibly taken from them, but they retained control of the rugged King Country to within a whisper of the 20th century.

To the northeast, the Coromandel Peninsula juts into the Pacific, forming the Hauraki Gulf’s eastern boundary. The peninsula’s east coast has some of the North Island’s best white-sand beaches, and the muddy wetlands and pictur-esque stony bays of the west coast have long been a refuge for alternative lifestylers. Down the middle, the mountains are criss-crossed with walking tracks, allowing trampers to explore large tracts of isolated bush studded with kauri trees.

When to Go¨¨ Beachy accommodation in Waihi, Whitianga, Whangamata

and Raglan peaks across the summer holidays from Christmas until the end of January. New Year’s Eve in particular can be very busy.

¨¨ Balmy February and March are much quieter around the Coromandel Peninsula with settled weather and smaller crowds. Rainfall peaks in the mountainous Coromandel region from May to September.

¨¨ The Waikato region can see summer droughts, but the southern area around Taumarunui is often wetter and colder.

¨¨ If you avoid the height of summer school holidays (Christmas to January), accommodation is plentiful in the Waikato region.

¨¨ Raglan’s surf breaks are popular year-round.

Best Outdoors¨¨ New Chum’s Beach (p185)

¨¨ Cathedral Cove (p189)

¨¨ Otama Beach (p185)

¨¨ Surfing at Manu Bay (p160)

¨¨ Black-water rafting at Waitomo Caves (p169)

Best Places to Stay¨¨ Wairua Lodge (p186)

¨¨ Driving Creek Villas (p183)

¨¨ Purangi Garden Accommodation (p190)

¨¨ Solscape (p160)

Waikato........................149Hamilton...................... 151Raglan.........................157Cambridge...................163Matamata................... 164Te.Aroha.......................165Waitomo.Caves...........169Thames........................178Coromandel.Town....... 181Whitianga................... 186Hahei.......................... 189Waihi.&.Around............193

©Lonely¨Planet¨Publications¨Pty¨Ltd

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HaurakiPlains

Firth ofThames

SOUTH PACIFICOCEAN

HaurakiGulf

RotoroaIsland

LakeTaupo

Lake Karapiro

PonuiIsland

WaihekeIsland

MotutapuIslandRangitoto

Island

Koputai WetlandManagement

Reserve

Rang

itoto

Rang

es

Coromandel Range

Hau

hung

aroa

Ran

ge

New Chum'sBeach

Hot WaterBeach

Huntly

Whiritoa

Onemana

Morrinsville

Kuaotunu

Matingarahi

Miranda

Kaiaua

Whatawhata

Katikati

WaihiBeach

Pokeno

Port Charles

Te Kuiti

Cambridge

Tuakau

Paeroa

Te Anga

Amodeo Bay

Oamaru Bay

Te Kouma

Manaia

WaikawauKerata

Coroglen

Wharekawa

Waitakaruru

Ngarimu Bay

KennedyBay

AwaitiPatetonga

Kaihere

Mangatarata Ngatea

Waikino

Waihi

Barryville

Whakamaru

Tihoi

Ruamahunga

Colville

Tokoroa

Tirau

Otorohanga

Ngaruawahia

Matamata

Putaruru

Thames

Whitianga

Whangamata

Tairua

Pipiroa

Meremere

Rangiriri

Ohinewai

Pukekawa

Tatuanui Waitoa

NgauraShaftesbury

Mangatupoto

AratoroKopaki

Eight MileJunction

RangiaowhiaTe Awamutu Tapapa

Hinuera

RotongataWharepapaSouth

Tapu

Turua

Orere Point

Kiritehere

Moeatoa

Waikawau

Marokopa

Te Mata

Waikaretu

LimestoneDowns

Port Waikato

PapakuraDrury

Bombay

AucklandOrapiu

Hamilton

Kawhia

WhitiangaAirfield

ThamesAirfield

CoromandelForest Park

CoromandelForest Park

PureoraForest Park

PureoraForest Park

Piripiri CavesScenic Reserve

MangapohueNatural BridgeScenic Reserve

HamiltonAirport

MatamataAirfield

PirongiaForest Park

Te TotoGorge

NikauCave

CoromandelForest Park

Te PuiaHot Springs

Mt Pureora(1165m)

Mt Titiraupenga(1042m)

Mt Maungatautari(797m)

Mt Pirongia(959m)

Mt Te Aroha(952m)

Mt Karioi(756m)

Taupiri(287m)

&¬2&¬26

&¬25

#1Far NorthCoromandel

#3

#2

Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve

#5

#4 CoromandelForest Park

&¬25

KarangahakeGorge

#4&¬27

&¬2

&¬2

&¬25

HaheiBeach

Coromandel Town

#7 Raglan

#8

Sanctuary MountainMaungatautari

#6

WaitomoCaves

&¬25

&¬3

&¬30

&¬32

&¬30

&¬32

&¬1

&¬31

&¬23

&¬3 &¬1

&¬28

&¬24

&¬1

&¬26 &¬27

&¬22

0 20 km0 10 miles#e

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West Coast (750m)

Waikato & Coromandel Peninsula Highlights1.Travelling.remote.gravel.roads.under.a.crimson.canopy.of.ancient.pohutukawa.trees.in.Far North Coromandel.(p184)2.Kayaking.around.the.hidden.islands,.caves.and.bays.of.Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve.(p190)

3.Pigging.out.on.smoked.mussels.in.Coromandel Town.(p181)

4.Penetrating.the.mystical.depths.of.the.dense.bush.of.Coromandel Forest Park.(p182).and.Karangahake Gorge.(p195)

5.Watching.the.offshore.islands.glow.in.the.dying.haze.of.a.summer.sunset.from.Hahei Beach.(p189)6.seeking.subterranean.stimulation.in.the.Waitomo Caves.(p169).–.this.is.your.chance.to.try.black-water.rafting

7.Hitting.the.surf.(and.then.the.pub).in.unhurried.Raglan.(p157)

8.Tramping.through.an.inland.island.paradise.at.Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari.(p162)