The Best Things to See on New Zealand’s Coast Highway

The Best Things to See on New Zealand’s Coast Highway

Written by mighway

Hire a caravan in New Zealand and drive down Highway 35 on the North Island. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This route, otherwise known as the Pacific Coast Highway, provides the perfect blend of nature, wildlife, culture and history. Check out many of the best things to see in New Zealand below to build an unforgettable journey:

Coromandel Peninsula

Gaze on fantastic sights in this region that includes Cathedral Cove, a towering archway connecting two secluded coves. Sandy white beaches beckon you while the pohutukawa trees provide refreshing shade.

Hot Water Beach

Dig through naturally heated mineral water bubbling up from deep within the earth. Your experience will be best during the two hours on either side of low tide. This is a great beach for surfers, though strong undertows often make the beach too dangerous for swimming.

Whenuakura Island

Kayak or paddleboard to the Whenuakura Island (known locally as Donut Island). This island boasts the magnificent remains of a volcanic blow hole, creating an alluring lagoon in the centre. The area is teeming with native plants and animals.


Enjoy the contrast of Tauranga, the largest city on the Bay of Plenty. This city is easy for walking. The Strand Waterfront is always full of life, bustling with cafes, pubs, and nightclubs. There are plenty of things to do with the entire family, including sailing, diving, and taking in dolphin sightings.

Te Araroa

Tour the small coastal settlement of Te Araroa. Travel this 22 kilometre rural point to hike up the historic East Cape Lighthouse, standing 154 metres above sea level. These outstanding views are worth the investment. Take advantage of the opportunities for deer and pig hunting, fishing and historical tours.

Te Urewera

Take on this energising area full of outdoor adventures of hiking, hunting and fishing. The nearby town of Wairoa is the best place to stock up on food and supplies in the area. A local museum shares the area’s rich European and Maori history, including the influence of early Christian missionaries.

Lake Waikaremoana

Kayak or canoe on this lake located within the boundaries of the Te Urewera, sometimes referred to as an island fiord. Enjoy a rustic experience by staying at one of the many cabins or camp sites in the area. Traverse one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, the three-day Lake Waikaremoana Track to experience all that this area has to offer.


Travel back in time to the 1930’s as you visit the city of Napier. Immerse yourself in trendy Art Deco buildings. You may be reminded of a period film set, surrounded by vintage cars, fashion and music. Napier is a distinctive must see.

Hawke’s Bay

Drink in the beauty and distinctive flair of Hawke’s Bay. The bay area is among New Zealand’s leading producers of red wine. It is the first step on the classic New Zealand Wine Trail.

Cape Kidnappers

Tour this extraordinary sandstone headland. This cape was named by Captain Cook because of an attempt by the local Maori to abduct one of the crew. It is here that you can view one of the most accessible and largest gannet colonies in the world.

Create your own New Zealand experience on the Pacific Coast Highway. Select from these sites to find the best things to see on New Zealand’s Coast Highway.