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When you ask residents of Coromandel Town what makes their home special, you will almost certainly hear about two things: the incredible heritage that survives in the town, and the powerful, rugged terrain that surrounds it.
Coromandel Town is a small, history-rich community in the heart of a region known for its pristine coasts, towering sea cliffs and magnificent rolling hills. Since the days of gold hunters and kauri loggers more than a century ago, the town has served as an outpost for those preparing to explore the region’s mountains and coasts. Today, small storefronts line the main street and art studios are tucked into nearby neighborhoods.
It’s both an excellent base for exploration and a wonderful destination in itself.
Pull up a chair
If you drive the coast road from Thames to Coromandel Town, one of the first places you’ll see as you arrive is the Star and Garter. One of the oldest buildings in Coromandel, it served as a drapery and general store before being transformed into a pub and eatery in 2003.
The space welcomes guests with kauri floors, a bar made from the original drapery counters, a warm fire in the winter and a cool breeze in the summer. The walls invite a close look with visual displays of Coromandel history. It’s an easy, welcoming place where both locals and visitors can slow down and take time to share a story (or a bowl of Coromandel mussels from the menu of traditional comfort food) over a New Zealand beer or well-crafted cocktail.
Settle in to town
Coromandel Town’s main street is lined with small storefronts offering locally-crafted art, practical outdoor gear, exceptional food and the essential ice cream. A stroll through town takes you back in time and invites you to experience this region’s warm character on a personal level.
The Coromandel Top 10 Holiday Park offers an ideal base where you can settle in to town and be part of this community while surrounding yourself with nature. Its brightly-painted cabins offer striking mountain views while the extensive and beautifully-landscaped grounds offer ample opportunities to take in nature -- or for kids to run and play. The shared kitchens and lounges are cozy and spotless, perfect for taking it easy.
Embark on adventure
Your adventure begins just outside of town, where you’ll find rugged coasts lined with ancient pohutukawa trees and punctuated with peaceful bays. You can walk along the top of coastal cliffs, swim along pristine beaches, pull snapper from green-blue water or navigate winding mountain roads through dense forest. Coromandel Adventures takes you through the incredible terrain of the northern Coromandel or up close to the iconic Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach.
When your adventure is complete, come on back to town -- it’s the perfect place to swap a few stories and celebrate your successful expedition.
Karen McMillan, owner of the Star and Garter, grew up in Coromandel Town and has seen it transform over the years into a destination for travelers. One thing that hasn’t changed, she said, is the town’s heart.
“Sometimes I just stop for a minute and sit back and think, I love this place,” she said of the Star and Garter and its historic building. “It’s got such a warm feeling. It’s got such a heart.”
After a few days, you may find yourself saying the same about Coromandel Town.
Learn more and plan your adventure at www.thecoromandel.com.
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