Whitianga
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Whitianga
36° 49’ S, 175° 42’ E
Whitianga, NZ

Whitianga

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Location

Whitianga
Coromandel Waikato
New Zealand 3510

Quick Facts

Māori Meaning:
Kupe's crossing (Te Whitianga-o-Kupe)
Proximity:
2 hr 30 min (182 km) from Hamilton
2 hr 35 min (190 km) from Auckland
2 hr 40 min (168 km) from Tauranga
Population (2018):
6160 permanent residents
Whitianga, Mercury Bay

WORLD-CLASS BOATING
AND OCEAN VIEWS

New Zealand's fast-growing town on the Coromandel Peninsula is popular with tourists due to its laid-back yet vibrant pulse – and it's attracting a stream of new residents discovering an idyllic work-play lifestyle not too far from major city centres.

A boating haven with no bar to cross makes Mercury Bay popular for fishing, diving, and water sports. Trailer boats can be launched at public boat ramps equipped with pontoons (see tips and resources below). Larger yachts and launches have options of marina berths, waterways or swing moorings near the harbour entrance.

The Whitianga Waterways development with accommodation overlooking the canal system is perfect for leisurely kayaking and paddle boarding, or to just sit back and enjoy watching boats go past your front deck.

If you are aboard a private cruising vessel, on a guided tour, or enjoying lunch in a stunning bay, Whitianga is the ultimate gateway to the playground of the Mercury Bay and Mercury Islands.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Whitianga worth visiting?
  • Does Whitianga have a supermarket?
  • Is Whitianga a good place to live?
SH25 Whitianga road sign

Getting to Whitianga

VW Combi van with surfboard on roof

By Road

You can get to Whitianga by car following SH25. View in map.

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By Air

Barrier Air has regular flights from Auckland and Whitianga with a flight time of just 22 minutes. There are 10 flights per week.

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By Ferry from Mercury Bay South

By passenger ferry from Mercury Bay South (Flaxmill Bay, Cooks Beach, Hahei and Hot Water Beach). Catch the Passenger Ferry from Ferry Landing to Whitianga Wharf. This is a short ferry ride and Whitianga Wharf is centrally located in Whitianga township.

Things You Don't Want to Miss

Whitianga Highlights

If you're touring around the Coromandel Peninsula, you're likely to discover the beautiful seaside town of Whitianga nestled alongside the beautiful Mercury Bay offering amazing activities and adventures right at its doorstep. Its lovely calm bay, beaches and waterways are ideal for young families and safe swimming.

Local tour operators are on hand for those without their own water transport to book a fishing charter, sailing lessons, sightseeing trip, guided jet skiing or the thrill of the banana boat rides. Many trips are available as full, half or part day tours to fit in with guest schedules.

The township bustles during summer and maintains its vibe throughout the year with a growing number of events. The Whitanga Oceans Festival (formerly Whitianga Scallop Festival) is a keystone of these attracting thousands to taste local delicacies. 

A visit to Ferry Landing wharf, the oldest working stone wharf in the southern hemisphere is a short ferry ride from Whitianga Wharf, and provides easy access to Whitianga Rock, an ancient Maori pa site.

Couples, families and friends can all enjoy a holiday in this beachside town with its enticing natural surrounds. Three must do attractions on while staying in Whitianga are exploring Cathedral Cove, Hot Water Beach and New Chum Beach. 

Browse our inspiration pages and connect with some of our great Mercury Bay businesses, events and activities when you need a bit of inspiration for things to do, places to visit and ways to surprise your family and friends.

Cathy Klouwens, Business Development Manager
Inspiration & Must Do's

Whitianga Community

For visitors who have not returned to Whitianga in a while, the reaction is usually the same. "WOW! Whitianga has changed a lot".

The town now has a permanent population of over 6,000, making it the second-largest town on the Coromandel Peninsula behind Thames. The Coromandel District has a resident population of 32,200. The Mercury Bay Area School roll is steadily increasing with over 1,000 students enrolled as new families come to settle in Mercury Bay – Te Whanganui a Hei .

The Whitianga community proudly supports hundreds of local community volunteer organisations so there is no shortage of activities for individuals and families to get involved in!

Many visitors often come to stay in Whitianga, while some love it so much they remain for a lifetime. Residents lucky enough to enjoy these surrounds have the opportunity for an outstanding work-life balance.

Whitianga waka community
Proud to be local
Useful Visitor Information

Whitianga Local Tips

Where to stay

Accommodation options range from cheap to luxury accommodation on beautiful beaches and bush settings – it's all here in Whitianga.

All price ranges to choose from apartments, holiday homes, budget-backpackers, camping sites, motels and lodges.

Check out accommodation options in our Accommodation Guide.

Where to grab a bite to eat

Whitianga has bakeries, cafes, lunchbars, restaurants, food carts, dessert & ice cream places, and takeaways. 

Whitianga has good choices for food shopping with local Countdown, Four Square and New World supermarkets. Some supermarkets have delivery options to the outer areas.

View our Restaurant and Bar Guide for a wide range of casual and formal dining options with restaurant menus and opening times.

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Whitianga Boat Ramps

  • The Esplanade Public Boat Ramp
    Pontoon on site
    – trailer boat parking permit fee
  • Robinson Road Public Boat Ramp
    Tidal dependant
    – trailer boat parking permit fee
  • Dundas Street Public Boat Ramp
    Tidal dependant
  • Whitianga Marina
    Pontoon on site
    – contact Marina for fees

Activities for kids

The playground at the Esplanade Reserve beside the wharf is magic. It has a glorious water view and is close to cafes to for your favourite take away coffee. Enjoy while the kids have fun on the pirate ship, swings and the spider web climbing frame. A new skate park has been built on Taylors Mistake, also called Whakau Reserve, in the town centre. There is a free bike park with obstacles to challenge various levels of experience on Moewai Road. See our Kids Activities Guide for inspiration and detailed information.

Shopping

For Whitianga shopping information, reviews and business hours view our Local Information Guide.

Whitianga Tides

Whitianga fishing tides, checking the best tide times for launching and retrieving your boat at Whitianga boat ramps, entering or leaving the Whitianga Marina or Whitianga Waterways, surfing local Coromandel beaches, and best low tide times for digging a hot pool at Hot Water Beach.

Download and print the Whitianga Tides PDF file for local Whitianga tide times.

Must Do's

  • Three must do attractions on while staying in Whitianga are exploring Cathedral Cove, Hot Water Beach and New Chum Beach
  • Enjoy a long walk or bike ride from Buffalo Beach to Brophy's Beach.
  • Find a prime spot at one of Whitianga’s restaurants to enjoy a beverage while watching the sunset.
  • Choose a stunning picnic area and enjoy your favourite takeaways at at the beach.

Transport

One of the best ways to get to the restaurants and bars in Whitianga is by taxi. Take the worry of driving away and enjoy your time out with this safe and easy way of getting around.

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Public Toilets (restrooms)

  • Northern Reclamation, The Esplanade.
  • Wharf Toilets, The Esplanade.
  • Soldiers Memorial Park, Blacksmith Lane.
  • Main Beach Toilets, Buffalo Beach Road.
  • Mother Browns (Taputapuatea Stream)
  • Brophys Beach
  • Hilton Park, Arthur Street
    (during sports events only).
  • Mercury Bay Sports Parks, Moewai Park.
Local Tips
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Whitianga Connected

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A big thanks to local photographer Dmitri from Fern Vision, for supplying epic Coromandel Peninsula photography.

Proudly Serving the Whitianga Community
Since 2013