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Which would you recommend, Coramandel or Bay of Islands?

Yass, Australia
Level Contributor
18 posts
Which would you recommend, Coramandel or Bay of Islands?

I'm travelling in a sc motorhome and have a week in the North Island. I'm travelling from Wellington, want to explore Rotorua and then I'm wondering which would be best for my remaining time, the Coramandel or Bay of Islands as I don't believe that I have enough time for both. I'd appreciate some help from local Kiwis please

9 replies to this topic
Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
Level Contributor
17,874 posts
128 reviews
1. Re: Which would you recommend, Coramandel or Bay of Islands?

Go to the Coromandel Peninsula. It's already on the way (sort of) to Auckland, and it's easier to access coming from Rotorua. Whereas the Bay of Islands requires you to pass through Auckland first, taking up valuable time and adding extra distance.

The beauty of the Coromandel is that it has an eastern (ocean beach face) and a western (Firth of Thames) outllook. You can drive from Rotorua through Tauranga and SH2 then from Waihi on SH25 (Pacific ocean side) to Hot Water Beach - Hahei - Whitianga, then continue around to Coromandel Town and Thames on the way to Auckland. Or you can reverse the direction since driving north up the Thames Coast has better sea views than driving south.

Thames Coast did receive a hammering in the early January storm, so hopefully the road (SH25 up the Thames Coast) has now been repaired. It's a lovely area with a mountain range as its spine, with native bush and beaches along the coastal plains. Some neat places to stay beside the beaches in a motor home.

Auckland
Level Contributor
1,658 posts
57 reviews
2. Re: Which would you recommend, Coramandel or Bay of Islands?

Coromandel.

It is a lot more driving up to the BOI and then you have to backtrack to Auckland and very likely get stuck in the traffic! You'd need to allow 3-4 days for a decent look. Frangipani suggests a lovely trip around both sides of Coromandel.

Yass, Australia
Level Contributor
18 posts
3. Re: Which would you recommend, Coramandel or Bay of Islands?

Thank you so much. It's great to have some local knowledge when your time is limited. I forgot to mention I'm coming over late April. Will that make a difference?

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
Level Contributor
17,874 posts
128 reviews
4. Re: Which would you recommend, Coramandel or Bay of Islands?

Late April is still a pleasant time to visit. Our last trip around the Coromandel and through Mt Maunganui to Rotorua was 3 years ago, during the same timeframe. A couple of nights were chilly, but our hosts at Bowentown provided extra blankets in addition to our unit having central heating. Rotorua early May saw brilliant sunshine for the annual Rotorua marathon.

An advantage for this time of year is that the crowds have left the beaches and you will find a parking space at Cathedral Cove.

Yass, Australia
Level Contributor
18 posts
5. Re: Which would you recommend, Coramandel or Bay of Islands?

Great to hear, thank you. Now I can't wait to get there!

lake tahoe
Level Contributor
61 posts
6. Re: Which would you recommend, Coramandel or Bay of Islands?

Not a local kiwi but we did a 3 week trip around the north island in a campervan a couple years ago. I would also recommend Coromandel peninsula mostly for logistical reasons as has been stated before but its a shame you don't have time to check out the Northlands/BOI area as well. Not sure what size motorhome you will be in but the road around the peninsula is narrow and curvy at times so just take it slow and let cars behind you pass whenever you can pull over safely. Camp at hot water beach and go dig yourself a hot tub at low tide. Get to Cathedral Cove early to beat the crowds. The town of Coromandel is a nice stop for some fresh mussels. Driving Creek is a great spot to visit if you like trains, beautiful views and pottery.

Yass, Australia
Level Contributor
18 posts
7. Re: Which would you recommend, Coramandel or Bay of Islands?

Thank you, I'm in a 7mtr motorhome. I've always wanted to see BOI. Next time! Thanks for your advice

Tauranga
Level Contributor
335 posts
8. Re: Which would you recommend, Coramandel or Bay of Islands?

Hi Heather

If you are coming late April,you won't be able to use the Cathedral Cove carpark. You'll either have to walk from Hahei village or use the park and ride shuttle. The carpark for the shuttle is on the right just as you enter Hahei. You can book tickets online or pay through a machine at the carpark. Online ticket holders get preference.

This is to ease congestion for residents.

You'll find further information here:

theinformer.co.nz/feature/advice-for-parking…

Yass, Australia
Level Contributor
18 posts
9. Re: Which would you recommend, Coramandel or Bay of Islands?

Wow, this is Information that will save me stress, thank you so much!

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