This morning after Breakfast you will depart with Dmitri for a tour of the delights of our Peninsiula, The Tide plays a part in the scheduled of this Guided Tour, so the route may vary for us to be at Hot Water Beach for the best time at Low Tide. You will with Dmitri retrace in the footsteps of Kupe the Maori Voyager who came here in 950 AD to Captain Cook in 1769. Dmitri is a professional photographer and therefore knows the best kept secrets of the Peninsula. He will share these with you and take photos of you to present in a Photoview Disc DVD for you to take home as a keepsake and enjoy with family and friends of your time in our beautiful part of New Zealand.
First we will be venturing down the 309 Road to Kauri Grove and Punga Forest is, where will take the Native Forest Walk to see these Giant Trees that are in excess of 600 hundred years old.
The 309 Road is a 22.0km, narrow, winding gravel road between Whitianga and the town of Coromandel. In fact, it’s the shortest route between Mercury Bay’s Whitianga and the Hauraki Gulf’s Coromandel township. Called the 309 as in its day it took 309 Minutes for Horse drawn Kauri Carts to make their way across between forest reserves.
This scenic route follows the meandering Mahakirau Stream up the Mercury Bay side, over the 306-meter summit and along the Waiau River as it descends through pine forest, native bush, scrub and to the farmlands just south of Coromandel. It presents no problem to the motorist who drives steadily and stays well to the left around the corners.
The first place of interest is 309 Honey – at 4.6km. 309 Honey is known throughout the region for the variety of honey that it produced; Manuka, Pohutakawa and Clover. Should you like Honey you may wish to stop and purchase some to enjoy during your stay.
Egan Park, at 6.4km, is a large grass and tree area beside the Mahakirau Stream, a good place for a swim.
After driving through native bush reminiscent of a rainforest, you reach the summit at 12.3km. The 309 Kauri Grove at 14.1km
Remembering that the Coromandel Peninsula was once covered by these magnificent Kauri trees. It is well worth the walk along the old coach road (now a gravel path) and boardwalks just to stand next to these few remaining giants located only here and the Bay of Islands.
The walk takes about 10 minutes but you need 15-45 minutes to appreciate the beauty. These trees are Magnificent and offer great light for Photographs.
Waiau Falls is right beside the road at 14.8km. It is a beautiful bush glade where the Waiau Stream crashes over a rock face into the pool below. There are access tracks both upstream and down – another place for a swim and a short 3-minute walk to view the falls.
After we will retrace the route back to the main road and head over the scenic countryside for Hot
Water Beach and Hahei. You will take a coastal path down to Cathedral Cove offers some great photo opportunities and will take you approximately 40 minutes, but the way back is up the hill in parts with some steps so you do need to have a moderate level of fitness and some comfortable walking shoes.
After you will depart Hahei for Cooks Beach and towards Ferry Landing, this road takes you past Cooks Beach on your right and along this road to our Local Mercury Bay Estate our local winery and where you will taste their local wines and enjoy a platter lunch, included in your tour as is wine tasting.
Mercury Bay Estates remarkable wines have been delicately crafted to resonate the vibrant beauty of the Coromandel's Mercury Bay.
They focus on making high-quality wines from the vineyards at Cooks Beach and Hawkes Bay, with much of the work done by the hands of local experts, ensuring each vine gets the attention it deserves. Our harvest is hand-picked to make sure the grapes reach the winery in the best possible condition with the highest possible quality.
The Cooks Beach area provides a perfectly suited environment for our grapes - we are protected from the prevailing westerly weather by the ranges and our soil is well matched to growing Pinot Noir grapes. Our land is north facing, gently sloping towards the Mercury Bay and picks up great sun and heat through late summer for optimum ripening, producing great wines available for tasting at our unique Coromandel, Cellar Door.
Next, you can continue on and on your right signs to Shakespeare Reserve, and that will take you to where Captain sighted the transit of Mercury, whilst enjoying the views over the Hauraki Gulf. We will then walk down the track to Lonely Bay a beautiful beach.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II came here in 1969 for the bicentenary of Captain James. Cook's visit to Mercury Bay and there is a monument to her visit under the many beautiful trees that offer shades from the sun and a peaceful place to enjoy an interaction with nature
After you will visit Hot Water Beach, usually around 4 pm the tide is out and the perfect time to dig your own Hot Pool on the beach
From Hot Water Beach you will return to Whitianga and your accommodation where you have time to relax and enjoy the views before evening drinks are served and assistance with local restaurants