By Sandra and Gary Fitzsimons, Go Kiwi Shuttles.
Most people who come to the Coromandel drive here in their own car. But that doesn't make sense for everybody, especially if it's your first time or if you are not a local and not sure of all the great places to go.
Go Kiwi Shuttles are your friendly locally owned and operated shuttle bus service connecting the Coromandel Peninsula with Auckland City and Airport every day of the week.
But that’s not all we do!
We also operate the very popular Hip Hop n Vines Tour showcasing the best of our local wineries and brew bars in a 5-hour tour. Catering to groups between 8 to 40+, it’s a great day out! These tours are hugely popular with everyone, but especially for birthdays, hen do’s, Christmas parties or any excuse for a fun day out!
Tours start from Ferry Landing, which is just a short ferry ride from Whitianga. From there you can choose 3 stops from: Mercury Bay Estate Winery, The Vessel at Cooks Beach, The Pour House in Hahei, Hot Waves Day Bar at Hot Water Beach and the Coroglen Tavern. The tour finishes back in Whitianga, dropping you at one of our fun bars to carry on your party!
Our usual departure point is Ferry Landing, so you can park in Whitianga or walk to the ferry and make the quick boat ride Ticket included in your booking) across the estuary to meet us. Our first stop on the Hip Hop n Vines tour is the beautiful Mercury Bay Estate. Sit on the terrace with views over the sea, or under the shaded gazebo in the cool. If you are lucky, the divine Lola sparkling rose will be included in your tasting flight. A sweeter style of bubbly blush bursting with strawberry and fruit salad flavours and aromas. A sweeter style of bubbly blush bursting with strawberry and fruit salad flavours and aromas. Might be your go-to summer sip after this, but be in quick at the cellar door, Lola sells out quite quickly.
The winery produces a full range of wines that reflect the location in Cooks Beach. Protected from the prevailing westerly weather by the ranges the soil here is great for Pinot Noir grapes. The land is north facing, gently sloping towards Mercury Bay and picks up the great sun and heat through late summer for optimum ripening. The restaurant specialises in handmade local food with an Italian flair - the perfect accompaniment for the wines.
The Vessel is also in Cooks Beach, a great place for a few cold ones on the deck, in the sun over summer. You will notice the nautical theme and memorabilia around the restaurant and bar, a nod to Captain Cook, who landed on Cooks Beach in 1769.
The next stop is The Pour House in Hahei. Craft brews cooked up in the gleaming brewery through the big doors are served alongside cider and gin in the family-owned restaurant and tasting room. Some of the beers are brewed seasonally but faves like the Hahei Doctor are on tap all year round. The Pour House has a terrific garden bar and you can relax in the shade for a relaxed conversation with your friends until you are ready to go on to the next part of the tour.
Hot Waves Cafe and Bar at Hot Water Beach is a much-loved Coromandel icon. A combination of great food and local art, this place hums on open mic nights and also hosts works from the Mercury Bay Art Escape.
The road out from Hot Water Beach to SH25 crosses green farmland as it leaves the spectacular coastline and joins the main road up the east coast with the green Coromandel ranges on your left as we head north. It's not far to our final stop at the Coroglen Tavern. This classic and much-loved country pub attracts the latest and greatest musicians and bands over the summer, and we're happy to give you a lift to gigs here in the evenings too.
The Coroglen is a must-visit on your visit to The Coromandel, which is why many included it in their tour. There is something about the laid-back friendly welcome that is only found in a rural locals' hangout, and the cold beverages and friendly hospitality are guaranteed. Pool and dancing are inevitable!
We love being your guide and sharing the local stories as we accompany you to our best watering holes.
As we said, we are still committed to our daily scheduled regional service to Auckland and we'll pick up and drop off wherever you need to be/go. But we also have the privilege of taking brides and guests to weddings in secluded places, romantic couples on surprise nights out and family reunion trips to old haunts (no matter how big your whanau is!)