The Coromandel Peninsula, situated east of Auckland is a tropical escape for most New Zealanders. Make your way around the endless miles of winding roads, through the mountains and down into the Peninsula. From Auckland you’re looking at about a 3-3.5hr drive but all so very worth it. For us, this was stop number 1 of our epic 2 week road trip and what a place to call home for the first night. So sit tight and take notes because this is The Full Guide To The Coromandel Peninsula.
// Coromandel – How To Get There \\
If you’re travelling from Auckland like we did, you’re going to take Highway 1 south, through the city and out past the airport. As you get to the turning for Coromandel, you’re going to join Highway 25 to Thames, following the signs all the way into Coromandel.
Allow extra time for this journey! My main tip for you is to leave super early. Skip out on that Auckland traffic and make sure you’re up and leaving by 5:00am latest. Grab some breakfast when you get there but the most important thing is to leave with plenty of time. On your way you’re probably going to encounter some fog, so allow for this and take your time. The roads into The Coromandel Peninsula are notoriously bad, very narrow and a lot of bends. Take your time and leave whilst the traffic is low.
// Coromandel – Where To Stay \\
The Peninsula itself spans for miles, with plenty of tourist attractions so making sure you pick the right spot for your accomodation is so important. Let’s face it, if you’re heading to Coromandel then you’re heading there for 2 reasons… Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach, right? So for me, these would be the two places to plan your accomodation around. After looking into it for us, it seemed the best and most logical place to stay was Whitianga. A small little town located just north of Hot Water Beach, with plenty of hotels, motels and Airbnb’s, Whitianga has everything you could possibly need as a resting place in Coromandel.
For anyone interested, we used Airbnb and here is the link to the specific place we stayed. It was a stunning, 2 story house with a balcony and BBQ, looking over the beach. It’s a shame were were only there for one night as it was such a beautiful place to stay. If you want to stay there, click >> HERE <<
Equally I would add that if you’re camping in a tent or caravan, Coromandel is swarming with campsites and freedom camping locations. So definitely search these up as they’re a great, cheap way to pitching up for a night or two. If you do, then make sure you follow the freedom camping rules and ALWAYS clear up after yourself!!
// Coromandel – What To Do \\
We just spent one night in Coromandel which for some people is enough. Made famous by Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove, Coromandel is for sure a place that relies on tourism. With beautiful, tropical beaches and scenery to last a lifetime, there isn’t much else going on there apart from these attractions. So let’s discuss.
~ Cathedral Cove ~
Without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite place we visited at Coromandel. What’s not advertised so much is the mammoth walk to actually get there. You park in the town and from the allocated car park, it’s a 40-45 minute walk to Cathedral Cove Beach. Upon reaching the beach, it’s a steep climb down steps to reach the sand. Whatever happens, do not let this put you off. Upon reaching the beach you are welcomed by one of the most stunning beaches I’ve ever walked on. A small cove, surrounded by huge cliff edges and one hell of a powerful ocean. And there it is, the cove itself. Depending on what time of day you visit, you can walk all the way through the cove and round to the next beach. For sure a spot that is not to be missed.
~ Hot Water Beach ~
Oh HTB, what a disappointment you were. For anyone who’s been and said they loved it, please tell exactly what bit you loved. We arrived at a very crowded car park, luckily managing to park for free, we made our way down onto the beach. Avoiding paying $10 for a spade, we walked over to where everyone was sitting. A beach that probably went on for a mile, was empty other than the cluster of people sat around the small section of hot water. For anyone who doesn’t kn0w, Hot Water Beach is a beach where due to thermal activity, if you dig down in the sand, at a certain point of the beach, the hole will fill up with hot water… Therefore creating your own little hot pool. As you can see by the picture, it was so overcrowded in just this one section and not at all what we expected. If Coromandel is your only stop off point, then yes it’s interesting but if you’re heading down towards the likes to Taupo and Rotorua, you’ll have some far superior thermal experiences there. A great disappointment in Coromandel.
Overall, The Coromandel Peninsula is a must-see on your tour of New Zealand. It’s the most tropical part of New Zealand and for good reason. With its white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, the peninsula is paradise.
| By Harrison |