Karangahake Gorge between Auckland and Tauranga
Image Courtesy of Malene Holm
To get from Auckland to the Bay of Plenty and the East Coast of the North Island, there are a couple of alternative routes. Many people take a detour through the Coromandel Peninsula, one of the North Island's most beautiful and remote areas.
The other way is more direct. It passes through the flat expanse of the Hauraki Plains, the breathtaking Karangahake Gorge and the small farming towns of Ngatea and Paeroa and through to Tauranga. There is a lot of interest here with evidence of New Zealand's goldmining past around Karangahake and Waihi, and some very picturesque scenery.
It's a part of the North Island well worth visiting and can even be done as a day trip from Auckland.
To learn more read: Driving Tour from Auckland to Tauranga.