Whangamata is the first substantial town heading up the east coast of the Coromandel on State Highway 25 from Waihi. It has a large harbour and a beautiful beach. The town also has a real commercial centre with various accommodation options, cafes and restaurants. It is also home to the annual Beach Hop, a festival that celebrates rock and roll and hot rods, and sees the main road filled with classic cars for three days straight.

The harbour is picturesque, extensive, easy to walk around and is a safe place for swimming, being away from the main beach. The small wharf is a popular place to jump off, both literally and for boat tours around the bay.

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