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-> Map of Coromandel

Our Coromandel travel tips:

Coromandel tips: view from Paku Hill in Tairua

  • If you like Northland then you'll also enjoy Coromandel with its beaches and native bush
  • The Pacific Coast Highway follows a scenic coastal route through the Coromandel Peninsula, then continues all the way to Napier
  • The sightseeing must-stops for every visitor are Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach
  • Pohutukawa trees are flowering in December, colouring the coast with crimson red
  • The Waihi open cast gold mine allows for an unusual and interesting view

Coromandel travel tips: Cathedral Cove

Rustic, relaxed and unspoiled, the Coromandel is one of New Zealand’s best-loved holiday destinations

The rugged volcanic hills are cloaked in native rainforest, and more than 400 kilometres of spectacular coastline promises you can find the beach of your dreams.

The Coromandel is a place where bush and beach are both easily accessible. In the same day, you can experience the blue dazzle of the Pacific Ocean and calming greenness of the Kauri forest.

Inspired by the region’s idyllic setting, many artists and crafts people have made the Coromandel their home - visitors to the area are welcome in their studios.

The area’s fascinating history is evident in gold mining relics, logging dams and ancient Maori pa sites. The past can also be found in the charming colonial architecture and historical buildings preserved in several towns around the region.

Coromandel travel tips: Cathedral Cove beachA 2-hour return walk, or a guided kayaking trip, will bring you to the white sands and arches of Cathedral Cove. It’s an idyllic place to swim, snorkel, picnic or simply relax under the Pohutukawa trees.

Hot Water Beach lives up to its name. For two hours either side of low tide, you can create your own hot pool by digging into the sands. The hot spring bubbling up through the sand is the legacy of an exciting volcanic past.

From 'The 309 Road' you can walk to the foot of the Waiau Falls, where the Waiau River crashes over a rock face. Another 10 minute track will take you to the 309 Kauris, the finest stand of Kauri trees in the region.

See here for accommodation in Coromandel.

Source: Tourism New Zealand

Coromandel region highlights and things to do

  • Coromandel travel tips: Miranda birdsMiranda Wildlife Reserve: On the way from Auckland to Thames you can visit this important shorebird centre, where sometimes tens of thousands of migratory birds gather.
  • Thames: You can still find old hotels dating from the 19th century gold rush in this small town. This is where the Coromandel Peninsula starts, the beginning of the Coromandel range and the big long winding coastal road to Coromandel town. There are a range of historical museums and sites for you to discover.
  • Coromandel tips: ThamesCoromandel town: This was the site of New Zealand's first gold rush, there are still plenty of old gold workings you can visit in the region.
  • Whitianga: As usual in the Coromandel, a narrow winding road leads to the most touristic hotspot of the summer months, with access to beautiful beaches like Wharekaho Bay for surfers and safe Buffalo Beach. From Kuaotunu, Black Jack Road to Opito Bay is a great coastal road for explorers.
  • Coromandel travel tips: Hot Water BeachCathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach: Cathedral Cove is one of New Zealand's most famous landmarks, only to be reached by boat or via the beautiful walking track from Hahei that eventually leads through a cave onto the stunning beach - only at low tide! You need good timing as the equally famous Hot Water Beach south of Hahei is only worthwhile during low tide! Hire a spade or ask some friendly diggers if you can join for a beach spa!  
  • Tairua and Pauanui: Both are booming holiday towns with nice beaches and viewpoints, you'll get a good overview from Coromandel tips: Whitiangathe top of Paku Hill.
  • Whangamata: This surf spot may be completely overrun during the summer school holidays, but apart from the beach and harbour it's a great spot to explore the coast and do some bush walks, for example the Wentworth Valley with its 50 metre waterfall, Onemana Beach or the the Opoutere Wildlife Refuge Reserve Walk.

Best Coromandel walks

  • Coromandel travel tips: Hahei walk to Cathedral CoveCathedral Cove Walk (90 min return), from Grange Road in Hahei
  • Coromandel Walkway, gorgeous coastal walk with Pohutukawa trees (3 h one way), between Stony Bay and Fletcher Bay
  • The Kauri Block - great panorama from a Maori fortress (2 h return), Wharf Road or Harbour View Road, Coromandel
  • Waiau Falls and Kauri Grove Lookout Walk (30 min return), The 309 Road, south of Coromandel
  • Square Kauri Tree (20 min return), near the summit of Tapu-Coroglen Road
  • Whangapoua to New Chums Beach - walk to a fantastic beach (1 h return), Whangapoua
  • Whitianga Rock Walk - old Maori fortress (20 min return), from Whitianga Wharf
  • Wentworth Valley - Wentworth Falls Walk (2,5 h return) or Mines Walk (1 h return), Wentworth Valley Road, Whangamata
  • Broken Hills Recreation Area - a range of walking tracks in an old mining area, Puketui Valley Road, south of Tairua
  • Opoutere Beach (45 min return), north of Whangamata

Coromandel tips: Mount Paku lookout

Best Coromandel lookouts

  • Mt Paku, access via Tirinui Crescent, Tairua
  • Tokatea Lookout (30 min return), between Coromandel and Kennedy Bay
  • Coromandel tips: Shakespeare Cliffs lookoutShakespeare Cliff Lookout - above Mercury Bay, where Captain Cook observed the transit of Mercury in 1769, Purangi Road, Cooks Beach, Whitianga
  • Kaipawa Trig Walk (3 h return), from Kennedy Bay Road
  • Cave Bay Trig Walk (2,5 h return), south of Pauanui
  • Opera Point / Raukawa Pa (30 min return), from Whangapoua
  • Totara Memorial Park - views above Thames, Te Arapipi Road, south of Thames
  • Maungataururu Lookout, State Highway 25, east of Coromandel

Best Coromandel museums

  • Coromandel travel tips: historic Coromandel townThames Historical Museum & Thames School of Mines & Mineralogical Museum, Cochrane Street, Thames
  • Coromandel School of Mines and Historical Museum, Rings Road, Coromandel
  • Mercury Bay Regional Museum, The Esplanade, Whitianga

Coromandel map

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