Hotels in Whitianga, New Zealand
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Discover the Wonder of Whitianga
Located on the Coromandel Peninsula, Whitianga is a growing beach town in New Zealand’s North Island. It is the largest city on the famous Mercury Bay, which was visited by the legendary Captain James Cook. Since then, it has thrived as a major summer holiday destination for fishing, water sports, and seafood enthusiasts.
Magnificent Mercury Bay Museum
Whitianga’s Mercury Bay Museum is not only one of the major attraction of the town, but also the most visited museum on the Coromandel Peninsula. It is housed within an old dairy factory at the mouth of Whitianga Harbour. With a variety of exhibits and priceless artefacts, this local and visitor hot spot is a practically a requirement during a trip to Whitianga. There, you can discover the origins of this beautiful beach town, and learn about the Māori explorer, Kupe, after whom Whitianga was named. Guests can also explore the shipwrecks of Mercury Bay, including that of the famous HMS Buffalo. Then, follow the footsteps of the Royal Navy Captain James Cook, who came here in 1769 to observe the transit of the planet Mercury across the Sun. With fishing being part of the local lifestyle, the museum has also dedicated a section to the history of the timeless sport, and is a must-see for any enthusiast.
Scallops in September
Whitianga is famous for its annual Scallop Festival, which occurs once a year in September and lasts only one day. It is a day where New Zealanders from all over come to celebrate seafood (scallops especially), enjoy live entertainment, and indulge in wine. Because of its growing popularity, local businesses and restaurants have expanded their observation of this feast across several days, during which they offer special deals and unique foods. During this extensive one day party, you can partake in cooking classes, watch chef demonstrations, or simply sample delicious New Zealand wines while listening to live music on the concert stages. A recent addition to the festival that has grown in popularity is the Best Dressed contest. It’s an excuse to pull out your craziest costume and have fun. The most creative combo wins! If you’re planning on attending, make sure to book your hotel early, as places fill up very quick. Most hotels are located near the waterfront, making them within walking distance of the festival.
An Active Holiday
The glorious, sheltered Whitianga Harbour has practically become a home for water sports enthusiasts because of its calm waters. Many hotels in Whitianga now offer combination packages including both accommodations and activities. Big game fishing is the most popular recreational activity in Whitianga, for both locals and visitors, and there is a large amount of companies that specialise in fishing tours and equipment rental. Scuba diving or snorkelling is a thrilling way to uncover the underwater world that is bustling with sea life. Both Mercury Bay and Whitianga Harbour are perfect places for sailing. Water sports like paddle boarding and kayaking are also quite popular here, and is a great way to burn some energy after indulging in the local seafood.
Bask in the Beauty of Buffalo Beach
Don’t expect to run into actual Buffalos here - this beach was named after the iconic HMS Buffalo, a Royal Navy ship that was wrecked in 1840 off the coast of Whitianga. The anchor of the ship has been placed on the beach as a monument to commemorate the disaster. The gorgeous, three-mile beach is ideal for swimming and long romantic walks. In the mornings, you can sift through the washed up seashells and maybe find a few favourites to photograph as a keepsake. You don’t have to venture too far from the water to find a lovely place to eat - there are many fine restaurants and cafes in the area. One must-do before leaving Whitianga is to indulge in the delicious fish and chips at one the Buffalo Beach cafes. There are also many hotels close by as well as it is one of the most famous beaches on Mercury Bay. At the east end of the beach, near the Whitianga town centre, you can hop onto a ferry which will take you across the Whitianga Harbour to Ferry Landing. From there you can explore nearby several natural reserves and venture to Cooks Beach.
Price rangefrom $46to $457
- Hotel Blue Marlin Apartmentsdeals from $97
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- Hotel Aqua Soleil Villasdeals from $83
- Hotel Peninsuladeals from $82
- Hotel Beachside Resort Moteldeals from $99
- Hotel Shearwater On The Estuarydeals from $97
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