309 Road Travel Guide

309 Road

The direct Coromandel-Whitianga Road, offers a few sights and stops along the way. The road snakes through lush bush amidst scenic views of the Coromandel coast. This is also your gateway to climb Castle Rock, 525m/2km/1.5hr return, for some great views over Whangapoua peninsula and the Mercury Islands. 11km from Coromandel, you'll find the Waiau Falls where you can take a swim at the base of the falls. Next is a short walk to the Kauri Clump Scenic Reserve which is dedicated to the protection of the fine, kauri trees which dwarf the surrounding bush.

The next stop is Whangapoua with a good swimming beach, lovely white sand and some traditional kiwi baches (holiday homes). You can take a stroll to paradise at New Chums Bay from here (4km return/1hr). Kuatunu is the next village along your way. This seaside town's days of glory are long past. In 1889, at Try Fluke Reef, gold was found, a discovery which brought enough prosperity to the town that it supported a racecourse and brass band. Today you can still see naked patches of clay on Bald Spur at Powell's Point. Today, Kaotunu is more famous for its fishing than its gold. If you take the 18km road to Opito you'll find beautiful views of the coast to the Mercury Islands and excellent fishing, you'll see the surfcasters.