Things to do in Whitianga

Our most recommended things to do in Whitianga

Whitianga: Cathedral Cove 2 Hour Boat Cruise

1. Whitianga: Cathedral Cove 2 Hour Boat Cruise

Based in Whitianga, this scenic boat cruise showcases Mercury Bay’s stunning coastal paradise at its very best. Embark on a 2-hour journey across the rugged volcanic shores of the bay and explore its beautiful beaches including Hahei and Lonely Bay. The highlight of the tour is the world-famous Cathedral Cove at Te Whanganui a Hei Marine Reserve. The site has a rich Maori heritage, attracts around 150,000 visitors per year, and was used as a filming location for the blockbuster movie Narnia. Sit back and relax as you sail around the bay, and marvel at its stunning natural landscapes that stretch across the peninsula. Along the way, listen to your guide share entertaining live commentary about the bay and the wildlife that lives here. Make sure to keep an eye on the water too, as there's always a chance to see dolphins, whales and orcas in their natural habitat.

Whitianga: Cathedral Cove, Small Caves & Snorkel Boat Trip

2. Whitianga: Cathedral Cove, Small Caves & Snorkel Boat Trip

Discover the scenic Cathedral Cove and smaller caves on this boat trip from Whitianga. Experience the thrill of small, hard-to-get-to caves and discover magnificent offshore views. See New Zealand's 2nd largest sea cave, and get up close to aquatic life in the marine reserve. Leaving Whitianga Wharf, stop to view Shakespeare's Cliff, and pass the stunning Lonely before exploring inside Cooks Beach Blowhole and gazing out through the top. Be amazed at the panoramic scenery at Cathedral Cove. Head south, getting close along the coastline in and out of bays, caves, and blowholes. Take in the mesmerizing volcanic landscape of towering pinnacles and rock sculptures. Marvel at the size of New Zealand's 2nd largest sea cave "Orua" before visiting offshore islands with more caves. Have the option to snorkel and witness sea life in the marine reserve before heading back to Whitianga.

Whitianga: Sailing Trip to Cathedral Cove with Swim

3. Whitianga: Sailing Trip to Cathedral Cove with Swim

Embark on a sailing trip from Flaxmill Bay, a small cove nestled between Cooks Beach and Whitianga to see the iconic sights of Mercury Bay and Cathedral Cove. Lend a hand with the sailing or simply sit back and relax on comfy beanbags and admire the picturesque scenery.  Board our large, modern catamaran, and after a short introductory session to the boat's main facilities and safety systems, set sail out to the calm waters of the bay.  As you sail, spot the area's most notable sights with the help of your guide. Keep your cameras ready as you sail past Cathedral Cove. You will enjoy some snacks and drinks during the journey.  Once the boat sets anchor, choose to swim or snorkel in the marine reserve with the wonderful sea life, or simply chill out on board and soak up the scenery.  The tour concludes back at the starting point in Flaxmill Bay. 

Whitianga: Jet Boat Ride to Cathedral Cove

4. Whitianga: Jet Boat Ride to Cathedral Cove

Speed through the water at up to 80 kilometers an hour. Enjoy scenic views as you head to Cathedral Cove in a thrilling way. Board your jet boat and get ready for the fastest way to see Cathedral Cave. Hold on tight on your high-speed journey and experience drifting, power slides and white knuckle spins. Combine the rush of adrenaline with spectacular views of the volcanic coastline. Zoom over turquoise waters, past desert islands, and white sand beaches. Speed by towering cliffs and giant pohutukawa trees before sliding in towards Cathedral Cove to admire this natural wonder.

Whitianga: Scenic Flight on Coromandel Peninsula

5. Whitianga: Scenic Flight on Coromandel Peninsula

Discover the Coromandel Peninsula from a unique aerial perspective with a scenic flight over Mercury Bay. Departing from the coastal town of Whitianga, head north to Matarangi, Whangapoua, and New Chums Beach. Travel along the coast with stunning views of the Great Mercury Islands, Opito Bay, and Great Barrier in the distance. Fly over white-sand beaches, high clifftops, as well as secluded bays and coves only visible by plane or boat. From there, continue down the coast to Hahei and Hot Water Beach. Finally arrive at the critically-acclaimed Cathedral Cove and fly over Cooks Beach before heading back to Whitianga.

Whitianga: Cooks Beach Jet Boating Experience

6. Whitianga: Cooks Beach Jet Boating Experience

Hold on tight for an adrenaline-packed, white-knuckle jet boat ride along 7 km of the scenic, untouched Coromandel Coast, beaches, islands, and secluded coves. Hit this one-of-a-kind coastline at full blast with no shortage of spins, drifts, and speed. After meeting staff near the water at Whitianga Wharf, gear up with included life jackets before getting on the boat (ponchos are also included in the winter months). Then, set out on a short but sweet blast over to Cooks Beach hitting speeds of up to 80 km/h. Feel your heart pump as you experience wild spins and maneuvers.  End your ride back at the starting point in Whitianga, where you can conveniently reach nearby cafes, restaurants, and public toilets.

From Whitianga: Cathedral Cove Marine Reserve Cruise & Swim

7. From Whitianga: Cathedral Cove Marine Reserve Cruise & Swim

Relax & enjoy Shakespeare’s Cliff, Lonely Bay & Cathedral Cove on an open boat with unrestricted stunning views. Experience the thrill of going inside Cooks Blowhole, Whale Cave and our very own “Hole in the Rock”. Regularly going to the places seen in online videos & pictures, venture inside caves others cannot take you! View fish in the Marine Reserve. Learn the history of the area and be amazed by the volcanic formations throughout the Bay. You won’t be disappointed with Coromandel’s fantastic coastline as we go down to the Orua Sea Cave where you will be taken inside the cave and hear the amazing acoustics as we play music.

Other Sightseeing Options in Whitianga

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What people are saying about Whitianga

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 158 reviews

We got to see a lot of the distinctive features of this coastline in the boat. Cathedral Cove was beautiful but also loved the sea caves and different cliff formations. Guide was very knowledgeable and had a good sense of humour. Also learnt some of the local history and Captain Cook connection which I didn’t know. Too cold to snorkel but I’m sure that would be a bonus in summer.

The vessel had just the right amount of people to make it a comfortable tour and not so small as to be potentially rough while travelling across the bay. Liam our driver and guide was entertaining and knowledgeable.

Liam our skipper/guide was the best. Kept us all interested and took us to some pretty places

A great way to see the beautiful coast and learn about the history of the area

Very enjoyable experience. Commentary was informative and interesting.