The laid-back locals, golden coastline and mountainous interior have long made The Coromandel a favourite holiday spot for local kiwis. And it’s easy to see why – with perfect white sand coastline, abundant marine life, world-famous Cathedral Cove and a fascinating gold rush history, The Coromandel offers a compelling mix of relaxation and things to see and do.
The jagged forested ranges of The Pinnacles forms the spine of The Coromandel Peninsula. Explore these ranges on foot with the spectacular Pinnacles Track. An overnight adventure, climb to the summit first thing in the morning to catch the sun rising over 360-degree views of The Coromandel and beyond.
There are not many places in the world where a cathedral-like tunnel separates two secluded white sand beaches. Explore The Coromandel’s famous Cathedral Cove from a different viewpoint with a kayak tour or boat cruise. Just offshore lies a protected marine reserve; look out for seals, dolphins and colourful fish in the crystal-clear water as you paddle. Many boat cruises also visit impressive Big Bay Blowhole, near Hahei.
Near Cathedral Cove lies a myriad of secluded sea caves, cliffs, blowholes and coves. Take a boat cruise and snorkeling tour with Sea Cave Adventures or Cave Cruzer and explore the Orua Sea Cave; a huge cavern with a small hole that lets through rays of sunlight. The morning sun reflecting off the water in the cave is pure magic, both above and below the water.
Deep within the earth a natural spring runs beneath Hot Water Beach, bubbling up to emerge through the sand in the form of naturally heated mineral water. At the southern end of the beach, it’s possible to dig your own hot pool in the sand. Relaxing in your own spa pool meters from the Pacific Ocean is a very unique feeling!
Following old railway lines between Thames and Te Aroha, the Hauraki Rail Trail is an easy ride dotted with gold mining history, rolling countryside and charming kiwi towns. The full trail takes 2-3 days, but a great day ride is the third leg from Paeroa to Waihi. Pedal alongside the Ohinemuri River and through the Karangahake Gorge to admire the stunning Owharoa Falls and photogenic gold mining sites.
Nestled amongst regenerating native forest near Coromandel Town is Driving Creek Railway, a narrow-gorge mountain trail lined with unique and colourful pottery. It’s all aboard as you enjoy a scenic one hour train ride up to the ‘Eyefull Tower’, where colossal views stretch out over the Hauraki Gulf and Islands. Along the way, admire the distinctive pottery and kiwi outdoor art.