This small-group tour to the Coromandel Peninsula, first discovered by the great Polynesian navigator Kupe and later colonized by Captain Cook, begins with hotel pickup in Auckland.
After the drive to Coromandel township, your first stop is Driving Creek Railway and Potteries, the former home of artist, conservationist and engineer Barry Brickell. From here, hop aboard New Zealand's only narrow-gauge mountain railway with your guide.
The train journey takes you through tunnels and over viaducts through a replanted native kauri forest en route to a mountain-top viewing station where you’ll have a grand vista of the Hauraki Gulf. Disembark and follow your guide on a 10-15 minute walk through the forest to learn about the kauri trees that once covered the Coromandel Peninsula.
Following a drive across the mountain divide, you’ll descend down to Hot Water Beach. After lunch at a local cafe, meander along the shoreline and dig your own thermal pool to soak in the natural thermal springs that bubble up through the golden sand at low tide.
Finish your full-day tour at nearby Cathedral Cove, a must-see Coromandel destination where the Pacific Ocean washes through a cathedral-like arched cavern. (Please note: The walk down to the arch is over uneven surfaces and dependent on weather conditions. There is over an hour of walking up and down steep inclines, please be prepared.)
Snap plenty of photos before rejoining the vehicle for return transport to Auckland and drop-off at your hotel.