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Beaches -- Whangamata is a top surfing and swimming beach. Cooks Beach has safe swimming and lovely picnic areas, while Buffalo Beach is good for swimming and shellfish collecting -- both are in the Mercury Bay area.

Fishing -- There are numerous boat charter operations based in Whitianga, Whangamata, and Waihi, and the visitor centers have masses of brochures. Tairua Beach offers excellent surf-casting. Coromandel's northern islands provide excellent snapper fishing. For an organized fishing experience, try Infinity Charters (tel. 07/866-5936; infinitycharters@clear.net.nz), which offers competitively priced half- and full-day excursions.

Golf -- The Mercury Bay Golf & Country Club, Golf Road, Whitianga (tel. 07/866-5479), is an 18-hole course; greens fees are NZ$25 to NZ$40. The Dunes Golf Resort, Matarangi Drive, Whitianga (tel. 07/866-5394; www.thedunesmatarangi.co.nz), is one of New Zealand's top 10 courses; fees are NZ$70 for 18 holes of casual play, or NZ$35 for 9 holes. Coromandel Golf Club, Hauraki Road, Coromandel (tel. 07/866-8539), is a scenic 9-hole course; fees are NZ$30 for nonmembers. And Thames Golf Club, State Highway 26, Kirikiri, Thames (tel. 07/868-9062), is a par-70, 18-hole course; greens fees are NZ$25 per person.

Horse Trekking -- Riders with a sense of adventure might like to try the guided horse treks into the rugged Coromandel Ranges offered by Rangihau Ranch, Rangihau Road, Coroglen (tel. 07/866-3875; www.rangihauranch.co.nz). They're halfway between Whitianga and Tairua. Or experience an outback sheep station with Twin Oaks Riding Ranch, State Highway 25, Kuaotunu Road, Whitianga (tel. 07/866-5388; www.twinoaksridingranch.co.nz), which charges NZ$50 for a 2-hour trek.

Kayaking -- Cathedral Cove Kayaks (tel. 07/866-3877; www.seakayaktours.co.nz) operates from Hahei and offers daily tours from October to May. It's a fabulous way to see beaches, islands, caves, and coves -- no experience is necessary. They have a range of tours priced from NZ$85 to NZ$145.

Mountain Biking -- North of Coromandel, you'll find a testing track between Stony Bay and Fletcher Bay, which takes about 2 hours each way. There are also good tracks in the Carter Holt Harvey (CHH) forests south of Tairua and at Whangamata. To get into these areas, you need to register at the CHH office, just north of Whangamata (tel. 07/865-8473), or at one of the visitor centers in the area.

Scuba Diving -- The waters around Whitianga are ideal for diving. Cathedral Cove Dive & Snorkel, 48 Hahei Beach Rd., Hahei (tel. 09/866-3955; www.hahei.co.nz/diving), has dive trips for certified divers, plus PADI dive courses for all levels, in the marine reserve or in the waters beyond. Snorkeling trips in divine locations are offered as well.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.