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5 Best Things to Do in Whangamata

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What to Do in Whangamata

Surf, sun, sea and sand… This is pretty much the fashionable resort town of Whangamata in a nutshell. One of the most popular holiday hotspots for Kiwis in the Coromandel, Whangamata is a blessed with a long stretch of sandy beach perfect for surfing, swimming or doing whatever it is you like to do at the beach. Just off the shores are islands to explore with tour operators happy to show you these gems. The town itself is a great place to wander around for shopping and an obligatory coffee. Find out more in this list of things to do in Whangamata!

While you’re here, you might also be interested in 9 Best Hotels in the Coromandel and 10 Features That Make The Coromandel Unique.

1. Swim or Surf at Whangamata Beach

This 6km (4 miles) white sandy beach is what makes Whangamata a summer hot spot. Hire a board or get lessons at the local surf school on Esplanade Drive. Surf patrol operates in summer from the Whangamata Surf Life Saving Club. Alternatively, beach time can be enjoyed through swimming or long walks on the beach with an ice cream in hand! There are multiple access points to the beach.

Location: Whangamata Beach

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2. Walk to Wentworth Falls

For an inland adventure, explore the Wentworth Valley along the Wentworth Falls Track (2 hours return). Follow an easy grade track along the Wentworth River. There are two bridge crossings before ascending to an epic view of Wentworth Falls. There are two drops to the falls, both tumbling about 20m (66ft) each. The track continues higher to a basin at the top of the falls. There is a campground in the Wentworth Valley too. See more walks in the area in our 16 Awesome Hikes in The Coromandel.

Location: Wentworth Valley Road, 7km (4 miles) from Whangamata

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

3. Kayak to the Whenuakura Wildlife Sanctuary

Known to the locals as “Donut Island” this island off the shores of Whangamata Beach is a hollow island only accessible through a 12m/40ft-high cave. Join a local tour company for a guided kayak or stand-up paddleboard tour into the centre of the island with towering cliffs and a crystal clear lagoon. The island is a protected wildlife sanctuary so you are asked not to set foot on the island.

Location: Whenuakura Island just off Whangamata Beach

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

4. Discover the Town’s Shops and Cafes

Whangamata offers some of the best shopping in the region, particularly boutique shopping and speciality surf shops. There is also a unique coffee culture here with around 10 different cafes to choose from in this compact town. Take the time to wander and sample some treats for yourself.

Location: Whangamata town

Pexels © Pexels

5. Visit the Opoutere Beach and Coastal Bird Reserve

An excellent outing for nature lovers is at OpoutereBeach, just a short drive from Whangamata. Opoutere Beach lies at the southern end of the Wharekawa Harbour and is a protected breeding ground for rare species like the New Zealand dotterel. There is a 45-minute return walk along a boardwalk to see this area for yourself. Start by crossing a wooden footbridge leading into a pine tree forest before the walk turns into a boardwalk over a sandspit. Find out more about the beaches in the area in 10 Coromandel Beaches You Can’t Miss.

Location: Opoutere Road, 11km (7 miles) north of Whangamata

Glenn Howell on Wikipedia© Glenn Howell on Wikipedia

More Things to Do Near Whangamata

That’s it for the best things to do in Whangamata. Find more activities for your travels in the 51 Best Things to Do on the North Island.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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