Whitianga is the gateway town to Mercury Bay and the region of Coromandel northeast of the bay. It is substantial, with major services, eateries, retailers and plenty of accommodation options. But it still retains a nice New Zealand beachy feel. Drive into the town on State Highway 25 or park at Ferry Landing and get a short hop across Whitianga Harbour to the town. The latter works well if you are staying around Hahei and Cooks Beach.

Heading north there are a couple of sizable beaches – Buffalo Beach to Ohuka Beach, then Wharekaho Beach. These are well sheltered within Mercury Bay. Then State Highway 25 heads inland and links up with the coast again at Kuaotunu.

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