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- 19 Jan 2020, 3 nights
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Welcome to The Cat’s Pyjamas, located in the town of Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula and offering a warm, friendly atmosphere with a good choice of accommodation and facilities.... More...
The seaside town of Whitianga is a friendly place on New Zealand's breathtaking Coromandel Peninsula. Sandy beaches, rocky coves and fern-filled forests make this an explorer's paradise. It's also ideal for snorkelling, kayaking and boating – if you're lucky, you could spot dolphins and orcas. Days on blissful beaches end with platters of fresh seafood, organic produce and craft beers in the town's excellent restaurants and pubs.
Located close to the surf, Whitianga hostels have an easy-going, friendly vibe. Most have cosy common rooms with DVD collections for film nights and some have outdoor terraces for stargazing. You'll find Whitianga backpackers hostels with en-suite dorms and female-only rooms, as well as kitchens for prepping lunches before you head out to explore. Stay in a beachside Whitianga hostel that lends you kayaks and boogie boards without charge, a rustic option with free breakfast or a central spot decorated with arty graffiti.
There are several areas to explore in Whitianga. The town itself is compact and charming with plenty of boutiques, bars and eateries. It's also a good starting point for trips to the region's beautiful beaches. Nearby is Cathedral Cove, a large marine reserve of rocky coastline sprinkled with caves and sandy bays. A 40-minute drive will take you to Wainuiototo Bay, where you can escape to two vast beaches (New Chums Beach was ranked one of the world's top 10), native forest and sparkling surf.
Activities in Whitianga centre around the waves and the rolling landscape. To visit scenic beaches around the Coromandel Peninsula, you can choose from guided boat trips, cave tours by kayak and glass-bottomed boat rides made for wildlife spotting. Hot Water Beach is another popular attraction, where at low tide visitors dig holes in the warm sand to create pools that fill up with thermal water that can reach 64°C. Back in town, there are galleries, museums and excellent seafood restaurants, plus an annual scallop festival every September.
There are a couple of airports a few hours from Whitianga. Tauranga Airport is just under 5 hours by bus and Auckland is roughly the same journey time, though certain providers run a slightly faster route once a day. Once you've made it to Whitianga, you can get around by bus or take a short ferry trip across the harbour to discover the coastline.