Sunday, 27 September 2020


The Coromandel named New Zealand’s most popular road trip

The Coromandel has been named New Zealand’s most popular road trip, as Kiwis turn their minds towards travelling again under the Covid-19 Alert Level 2 restrictions.

Breath-taking scenery, stunning beaches and historic towns - along with easy access from multiple North Island main centres - have put the Peninsula in the number one spot on a list of the country’s top 10 drives.

The recent study, commissioned by BMW Group New Zealand, spoke to 1,000 people of all ages across the country about their travel plans in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The responses could indicate a lifeline for the local tourism market.

With international travel firmly on the back burner, the survey found four out of five people were looking to take a road trip in the coming months and 40 per cent would look to take a drive holiday. Overall, overseas travel is out with 84 per cent of all respondents saying they would avoid international travel in the short-term. However, getting out and exploring their own backyard is definitely in and coastal drive holidays are top of the wish list for many.

It’s positive news for local tourism operators and accommodation providers as Destination Coromandel launches its winter domestic campaign, which targets the drive markets of Auckland, Hamilton and Bay of Plenty.

The “Good for your Soul” marketing campaign will run until the end of August with the intention to showcase the Coromandel as an ideal destination to get away and recharge the soul after all the Alert Levels 3 and 4 lockdown constraints. Two specific market sectors will be targeted within the overall campaign - girls’ getaways and a couples’ retreat. The key components of the campaign are wellness, healthy activities, local cuisine and retail shopping.  

Local businesses are being encouraged to come up with ideas for packages or events that would fit within the campaign and can be advertised at no cost through Destination Coromandel’s marketing channels. Example ideas include wellness retreats, paddock to plate experiences, reinvigorating getaways, natural products and slow-paced retail therapy.

An already strong drive market may help the Coromandel as it goes toe-to-toe with every other tourist region in New Zealand competing for a share of what is expected to be a significantly larger domestic market over the coming 12 months. The survey indicates that a post Covid-19 world will see people avoid public transport and flights, with the number preferring to travel in their own vehicle spiking from 68 per cent to 85 per cent year-on-year. The research suggests the domestic travel market could see an injection of between $1.1 billion and $2.9 billion as a result of this change in behaviour.

“New Zealand has some of the world’s most spectacular sceneries, explored best with families, by car,” said Karol Abrasowicz-Madej, Managing Director of BMW Group New Zealand, about the survey. “In the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic, BMW commissioned this study to give families that have been living in isolation something to look forward to, but also to help communities support their local and regional businesses as they take road trips in the near future.” 

The Desert Road featuring Mount Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu as well as the Kaimanawa Range, which provided the setting for The Black Gate of Mordor from the Lord of the Rings films, was runner-up to the Peninsula in the list of top 10 drives, with the West Coast of the South Island coming in third.

Pictured: The Waiwawa River at Coroglen last Sunday afternoon. One of the many Mercury Bay gemsdomestic travellers will be able to experience during a Coromandel road trip.


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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.