A long stretch of coastline covered in rainforest, the Coromandel Peninsula is famous for its mountain views and stunning blue sea. Only five towns here have a population of over 1000, and Thames is the biggest. The peninsula was a buzzing gold mining town in the 1800s, and the legacy survives to this day with an open-pit mine still operating in the town of Waihi. Coromandel Town has a mountain village feel with old-fashioned buildings, nice parks and plenty of cafes, restaurants, shops and art galleries. Check out the Hauraki House Gallery to see exhibitions showcasing New Zealand artists, especially Coromandel locals. Thames also has quaint shops and cafes as well as galleries like The Thames Society of Arts.
Nature lovers can take their pick of things to do on the Coromandel with stacks of activities from beach swimming to bushwalking. Hot Water Beach is a must-visit destination! Dig yourself a hole in the sand and hot springs will emerge and supply you with your own private, relaxing spa bath. But you have to do this at low tide (or two hours before or after) for it to work. But Hot Water Beach isn’t the only interesting beach in the region; Cathedral Cove is a massive rock archway on the shores of Hahei Beach, where the cliffs of the foreshore are dotted with pohutukawa trees. At high tide you can get your feet wet as you find some shade under the towering walls of rock. You can’t miss Te Hoho (literally - it’s too big to miss!), a rock stack that rises from the sea and cuts a dashing figure against the blue sky. It’s so magical that the movie The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian used it as the location where the kids return to Narnia. New Chum Beach in Whitianga is accessible only with a 60-minute bushwalk but rewards those who make the effort with an unspoilt beach with vast, empty blue water. Speaking of which, the surf town of Whangamata has some of the best waves in Coromandel but also some of the safest spots to take a swim.
But you don’t have to go to the beach to see the great outdoors. The Coromandel Forest Park spreads across about 80,000 hectares and has walking tracks ranging from short morning trips to overnight trails. Feeling brave? Abseil, scramble and slide down Sleeping God Canyon (on a tour of course!), home to a staggering 300-metre set of waterfalls, to experience what might be Coromandel’s ultimate adventure.
Wot are you waiting for? This place has it all! Book your Coromandel Peninsula accommodation and a flight to Auckland with us to make your next holiday a masterpiece.
Hotels in Coromandel Peninsula start at AU$68 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.