29 October 2019 | Written by Bachcare Holiday Homes

Your must do’s while visiting Whangamata!

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Things to do in Whangamata

There’s a lot more to Whangamata than just pretty beaches (although, their beaches are pretty epic!). Whangamata’s history is one of Maori history, early settlers and rapid development, making it today one of the most treasured gems of the Coromandel. With so many things to do in Whangamata, we’ve put together a list of the key experiences to do on your next holiday.

See our top 5 things to do in Whangamata or…

1. Enjoy Whangamata Beach

things to do in whangamata

Home to one of New Zealand’s most famous surf breaks and recently voted as the best beach in New Zealand by Kiwis, you’re in for a real pearler of a beach! For the surf enthusiasts there are quite literally left hand breaks of your dreams.

2. Paddleboard along the northern estuary

There are two estuaries at both ends of the beach. The northern estuary, known to locals as ‘Sunken Rock’, transforms into an open, lake-like expanse at high tides. Since it is nestled inland just north of Whangamata town, it is perfectly sheltered from the wind and the waves making it ideal for those wanting to ty the more leisurely water activities of paddleboarding or kayaking.

3. Get nostalgic at the Whangamata Beach Hop


Every March you can be transported back in time to the 50’s and 60’s at the Whangamata Beach Hop! Admission is free to the public so anyone can enjoy the throwback tunes. And a bonus, if you’ve got a car that was made prior to 1972, you can cruise up in it to this quickly nostalgic festival.

4. Explore Wentworth Valley

what to do in whangamata

While there are so many different Whangamata walks to choose from, the best are found in Wentworth Valley. You don’t need to be an experienced climber to enjoy these trails, which bring you to rewarding views of Wentworth Falls and the surrounding valley. Easily done round trip in two hours, you’ll still have plenty of time to relax at the beach for the rest of the day!

5. Kayak through Donut Island

donut island whangamata

Bringing Whangamata to the world map is Donut Island—an island that is quite literally shaped like a donut. Since the island is sacred Maori land, stepping onto the land is strictly prohibited. The island can only be reached via guided kayak tours, making Donut Island a truly special place to see.  

Already daydreaming about your vacation to Whangamata? Check out our Whangamata baches available for rent and start planning your next beach getaway! 

What to do in Whangamata when it rains 

Rain, rain go away, come again another day. Well, not in Whangamata. Rain or shine, this town offers families with a range of activities to keep everyone entertained for a holiday away in The Coromandel.

We’ve put together our list of the five best activities to do in Whangamata when the rain comes to town…

6. Eat at Marjo Pizza

marjo pizza
Photo credit: Mizzoni Whangamata

Nothing quite brightens the day like a cheesy slice of pizza. There’s two competing outlets in Whangamata, each offering their own unique twists on the classic pizza dish. Marjo Pizzas is a must if you’re keen for takeaway. While Mizzoni Whangamata is a great pizzeria to dine-in. The comfort food will easily make the rainy day pass quickly.

7. Go to the movies

Photo credit: Michael Faulkner

The best part about the cinema is that the movies will still play on time no matter what the weather forecast is. Whangamata has an adorable cinema known as the Whangamata Cinema and can’t be missed due to it’s bright pink exterior. If the rain is really pouring, why not stock up on multiple buckets of popcorn and see a few movies back to back?

 8. Escape to a local pub or eatery

Photo credit: Sixfortysix

Take cover from the rain in one of Whangamata’s many pubs. All lined up on Port Road, you can bar hop down the road to some of the best pubs in The Coromandel. From Whangamata Club INC, The Lincoln, Sixfortysix (well known for their incredibly delicious food!) or The Port Road Project, you won’t run out of pubs and cafes to taste test craft beers at.

9. Get cultured at an art gallery

Photo credit: Kauri Cliff Art Gallery

One of the best parts about Whangamata is the insanely talented art scene that happens right in the hub of it. From classical art to contemporary art, there is a wide range of art galleries to visit and admire, or do some special shopping at. Our top picks for this include The Little Gallery WhangamataTopadahil Art Studios and the Kauri Cliff Art Gallery. The gallery owners are all friendly and passionate about the art they showcase, so you and the family will be able to learn all about the fabulous art pieces there.

10. Shop till you drop

Photo credit: Harry and Her Whangamata

Just as was the case with the pubs, all the best shops in Whangamata are located on the two main roads of High Street or Port Road. There is a range of small local business shops to larger brand shops such as Quicksilver, to spend the day browsing away. As this is a beach town, don’t be surprised that the most common type of shops are surf shops. But there are also some super quirky stores, such as Harry and Her Whangamata, that offer a unique selection of random nicknacks!

Even if the forecast does predict rain, don’t let it scare you away from enjoying a family holiday in Whangamata – there is still so much to do! Check out our Whangamata holiday homes and start planning your next family getaway here.

View our other “things to do” blog posts:

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