Waikato

    74 Bed & breakfasts in Waikato

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    Attractions

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    Karangahake Gorge and Tunnels

    When driving west out of Waihi along SH2 you quickly encounter the Karangahake Gorge, which is a very nice area to spend a bit of time in this area of Coromandel. Some amazing walks but with steep steps and also dark tunnels so good walking shoes and a torch essential. Turn your flashlight off when you are in the pump room, and when your eyes are accustomed to the dark you should see glowworms.

    We went on a 2 hour Eco tour exploring the volcanic coastline and Cathedral Cove. You can see the marine life up close through the glass bottom and dive in and snorkel in the marine reserve. Equipment supplied at no extra charge.

    This is a great way to experience the Waikato scenery on the Waikato River. The staff work hard to ensure everyone is having a good time and provide plenty of thrills with this powerful jet boat.

    Nice kayak trip to see glow worms. Easy kayaking and nice scenery followed by hot chocolate and marshmallows by a campfire. The paddle back through a narrow canyon after dark is the highlight with thousands of glow worms lighting up the canyon walls.

    Doug is an amazingly knowledgable and attentive guide who can't do enough for you on his day trips. H e will pick you up from wherever you are staying. His knowledge of the area, the beaches and the bush is extraordinary.

    Places To Eat

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    A cute, contemporary cafe on the main street of Whangamata. The coffee is excellent, and the lunch choices a cut above regular cafe fare. They are also open for dinner/evening drinks during peak tourist time.

    Bite Deli is located in The Depot, a beautifully restored old building on the main street of Thames that is now home to a small collection of artisans and speciality food stores, that wouldn't be out of place in a far more cosmopolitan location. Although their main focus is obviously delicatessen goods, fine wines etc., Bite also do scrumptious takeaway lunches, baked treats and coffee that can be enjoyed in the Depot's delightful courtyard area.

    Like your favourite British 'local' had been transported into a chilled-out Kiwi beach cafe! The cuisine could be described as classic 'pub grub' (fish & chips, pie & mash, curry etc.), but fresh and tasty and beautifully prepared and presented. Obviously most visitors here will want to sample a pint or two of their fantastic brews as well, and they won't be disappointed (proper sized pints for a start! - a rarity in NZ). But for those not inclined to beery delights, Bay Brewery also make their own range of delicious soft drinks and offer a small but impeccably chosen selection of wines and spirits.

    A small, intimate family-run restaurant in a quiet suburban area, complete with a quaint cottage garden. Motu Kitchen prides itself on using fresh/local/organic/free-range/sustainable ingredients as much as possible - including their beer & wine list, but the menu is still replete with such luxury dishes as crayfish, Wagyu beef, oysters, Champagne etc. For a true 'foodie' experience you'll never forget, try splashing out on their seven course tasting menu!

    Absolutely amazingly delicious Asian/Kiwi fusion cuisine. However, while clean and pleasant there isn't much atmosphere if you're dining in, and it isn't licensed or BYO. But all meals are available as takeaways, so why wouldn't you simply enjoy it down on the waterfront, a minutes stroll away? (Be warned though that there is a ban on public drinking in Whitianga at the busiest times of year).

    Traveller Tips

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    Best HQ

    Cambridge is a quaint town and the largest in the Waipawa district. It has all facilities and many attractions nearby. It's the best town to base yourself in while exploring this area.

    Ferry to Cooks Beach

    There is a ferry to Cooks beach. The ferry runs between the Whitianga wharf on the Esplanade and Ferry Landing. It's the best way to explore the other side of the harbour without driving.

    Facts about Waikato

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    Small airport Location

    The Thames Aerodrome is 3 km south of the town. Regular flights to Auckland are operated by Great Barrier Airlines.

    An Artists Oasis

    Coromandel Town has become a magnet for creative types, with artists and craftspeople moving here from all over New Zealand, giving the small town a unique 'alternative' feel.