Coromandel, New Zealand
Rugged and mysterious, yet also a place to flop on a beach and watch the waves roll in. Uncover the history of this remarkable peninsula while you indulge your need to escape.
The inspirational natural beauty of the Coromandel has led to the area becoming a haven for artists and crafts people. Take time to discover the many galleries and studios—you'll gain lasting pleasure when you purchase a piece of art directly from its creator.
The Coromandel Peninsula lies east of Auckland, across the Hauraki Gulf.
As of June 2005, the Coromandel's estimated population was 26,700.
Looking across the Hauraki Gulf from Auckland, the north of the Coromandel Peninsula can be seen on the horizon. Although only 90 minutes from Auckland, the Coromandel feels like it's a world away.
An impressive, heavily forested mountain range runs right up the middle of the Coromandel peninsula. It is bordered on each side by kilometres of spectacular coastline.
On the west coast, there's a never-ending parade of beaches, coves and harbours lined with pohutukawa trees (a red flowering native of New Zealand). The eastern side of the Coromandel is furnished with an amazing collection of white sand and surf beaches.
The Coromandel's fascinating history is evident in gold mining relics, logging dams and ancient Maori pa (fortified village) sites.
The past can also be found in the charming colonial architecture and historical buildings preserved in several towns around the region.
Main Attractions and Activities
The coastal nature of the Coromandel makes it a brilliant choice if you like to fish, surf, dive, swim or wander along beaches. For contrast you can head for the hills and hike the trails in the forest.
The jagged, volcanic hills of the Coromandel Peninsula still retain much of their original rainforest, including giant kauri trees.
Although there are great hiking trails in the forested hills, probably the greatest attraction is its spectacular coastline of sandy beaches, coves and harbours that provide boundless opportunities for fishing, boating and swimming. There's even a beach with warm water bubbling up through the sand that allows bathers to scoop out their own spas.
From Whitianga Wharf you can catch a ferry to the Stone Steps Wharf, the start of Cook's Coast. Front Beach, Flaxmill Bay, Shakespeare Cliff, Lonely Bay and Cooks Beach are all within easy reach.
The Coromandel's history is reflected in charming colonial architecture and historic buildings found in the small towns around the region, which had their heyday in the mid 1800's following the discovery of gold.
- Miranda Hot Springs and Shorebird Centre - on the Seabird Coast en route to Coromandel
- Kauaeranga Valley - great hiking trails, picnic areas and logging relics
- Hahei Lookout
- Rapaura Water Gardens, West Coast
- Goldfields Steam Train, near Coromandel
- Cathedral Cove, East Coast
- Hot Water Beach, East Coast
- Driving Creek Railway
- Waihi Gold Mine
- Karangahake Gorge - hiking trails, crafts
- Thames - main town and gateway to the Coromandel Peninsula
- Coromandel - charming old gold mining town with many craft shops
- Whitianga - has excellent restaurants. Nearby is spectacular Cathedral Cove and fascinating Hot Water Beach
- Pauanui - upmarket resort with great fish restaurants and boat charters
- Whangamata - has the region's best surfing beaches, popular with recreational fishers