My husband and I looking for some beautiful beaches in North Island to spend two nights. We only have five nights in North Island before spending the majority of our holiday in the South Island. This is because I have already been to the North Island, and our focus is some of the hikes in South Island. In North Island, we're thinking a day at Hobbiton/Waitomo, maybe Taupo or Rotorua, and then beaches. I've identified three areas -- but if I'm missing a good one, please let me know! Which do you think would be most beautiful, best use of our time, and most things to do in the area if we're spending two nights (this could be nearby day hikes, water activities, great restaurants, etc)
Coromandel Beach/Cathedral Cove/Hot Water Beach
----- This is where I went previously. It's gorgeous, and I think my husband would love it. But also, I would enjoy going somewhere new if it fits with our schedule.
Bay of Islands
----- Looks gorgeous with lots of beaches and hikes within an area, but I'm worried it will make it more challenging to see other parts of North Island in our limited team.
Bay of Plenty
---- We like having restaurants/bars to explore in a beach town, too. But my concern is this area may be too crowded, and I can't tell if the beaches are as gorgeous as the other two. I may be wrong!
Thank you in advance for your help!