What to Do in Ngatea
Heading on State Highway 2 to explore the east coast of the North Island? Don’t miss the little service hub of Ngatea! Surrounded by the rich farmlands of the Hauraki Plains, Ngatea is a great spot to buy fresh New Zealand fruit, explore the town’s quirky gardens or take a side trip to one of the nearby attractions such as the Miranda Hot Springs or the Miranda Shorebird Centre. Find out more about those and more in this list of things to do in Ngatea!
1. Visit the Ngatea Water Gardens
For something fun, quirky and affordable, stop by the Ngatea Water Gardens. Meander along a path through this 2ha (5-acre) garden, over the bridge, past lily ponds, waterfalls, waterwheels and best of all, meet the local residents! Feed the fish, ducks, and meet the turtles. Most importantly, be careful to let the animals pass on the “duck’s crossing”. The Ngatea Gardens also has a gift shop, picnic area, a can museum and hilarious signs starting from the car park!
Location: Bratlie Place
2. Relax at the Miranda Hot Springs
Unwind in the thermally heated fresh mineral waters of the Miranda Hot Springs. There is a large 47m pool with water temperatures of around 36-38ºC (97-100ºF), a cooler children’s pool and an adult-only sauna pool at 40-41ºC (104-106ºF). The hot springs complex has coin-operated barbecues, a small shop and a children’s playground. Opening hours are 9am to 9pm daily. For more hot springs to visit throughout the country, see our 10 Damn Relaxing Hot Pools in New Zealand.
Location: Front Miranda Road, Miranda. 19km (12 miles) from Ngatea.
3. Watch the Birds at the Miranda Shorebird Centre
Nature-lovers, don’t miss the Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre! Miranda is an important wintering ground for birds such as wrybill, to which 40% of the world’s population flock to Miranda at the end of the breeding season. Other species seen here include the New Zealand dotterel, variable oystercatcher, black-billed gull, pied stilt, white-faced heron and much more! The best time to visit the Shorebird Centre and view the birds is two hours on either side of high tide.
Location: 283 East Coast Road, Miranda. 24km (15 miles) from Ngatea.
4. Pick Your Own Blueberries at Blueberry Country
Ngatea sits in the centre of rich farmlands, including the blueberry orchard of Blueberry Country. From early December to late February, Ngatea Orchard is open for you to pick your own blueberries and indulge in something sweet at the cafe. Note that there is an entry fee for blueberry picking.
Location: 229 Central Road South, 7km (4 miles) from Ngatea.
5. Visit Paeroa or Thames
Ngatea is also a great base to explore some of the nearby towns. How about Thames, the gateway to the Coromandel Peninsula with a rich gold mining history and some epic hikes and canyoning trips in the Kauaranga Valley? Or head south to Paeroa, the “L&P Capital of New Zealand” and entrance to the magnificent Karangahake Gorge. Get inspired by our 7 Best Things to Do in Thames and 5 Fun Things to Do in Paeroa.
Location: Thames is 23km (14 miles) from Ngatea. Paeroa is 24km (15 miles) from Ngatea.