The fertile Hauraki Plains stretch southeast from the Coromandel Peninsula forming a low-lying former swamp-turned-farming region which, in typically laconic Kiwi fashion, describes itself as “flat out and loving it”. The Firth of Thames, the final destination for a number of meandering rivers, borders it to the north.

The hub of the plains is Paeroa, not much in itself but handy for walks in the magnificent Karangahake Gorge, running almost to Waihi.

The real gem hereabouts is Te Aroha, a delightful Edwardian spa town (little more than a village) at the southern extremity of the plains, where you can hike Mount Te Aroha and soak afterwards in natural hot soda springs.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

New Zealand features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
How to find the right New Zealand for you

How to find the right New Zealand for you

While it may not loom large on the world map, New Zealand feels incredibly vast and imposing on the ground, especially to those who try to visit the North and S…

23 May 2016 • Eric Grossman insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month