Pieces of Paradise on the Coromandel Peninsula

The Coromandel Peninsula is a popular driving destination. We show you some secret spots, including New Chums Beach, only reached by a low tide track.

Ssshh, let me tell you a secret.

The Coromandel Peninsula of New Zealand is a very special place. It begins when you cross the magnificent new bridge at Kopu, just before Thames, around a two hour drive from Auckland. For rental car drivers, there’s a few local secrets we can let you in on, to make your time there extra special.

Firstly, take extra care driving. There’s lots of winding, steep roads. Don’t be in a rush, allow for stops to refresh, and take in the views from strategically placed look-outs. The Thames Coast Road that goes from Thames to Coromandel town is a beautiful, pohutukawa-lined route which runs alongside the ocean most of the way, but it is very narrow. Sometimes it gets down to just a single lane, and there are limited opportunities to pass slower vehicles. The Coromandel has a high number of one-lane bridges as well. Pay close attention to the signage at each bridge as to whether you have the right of way.

Unfortunately, the beauty of the Coromandel is no longer a secret. The population swells over summer, with international visitors as well as New Zealanders flocking to their holiday homes or baches, and towing caravans to campgrounds. Hot Water Beach is very well known. Here you can dig yourself a private hot pool on the beach at low tide. At the height of summer, your best bet is to go on the days that low tide is at 4am! Nearby Cathedral Cove is so popular that the car park there just can’t cope, instead, park your car back at Hahei, and use the new park and ride service.

Don’t despair though! At VroomVroomVroom.co.nz we know all the best places to go. Try lesser known beaches such as Opoutere, it has a character hostel right by the beach! Whangapoua is a gorgeous beach 15 minutes from Coromandel Town. It has a campground that is a five minute drive from the beach. Whangapoua is also the gateway to New Chum’s Beach/ Wainuiototo Bay. This secret paradise is totally undeveloped, and can only be reached by boat, or walking from Whangapoua. Check out our video for how to get there, but, sshhh, keep it to yourself. We don’t want everyone to know…

For the best deals on car rental from the most trusted brands visit Vroomvroomvroom.co.nz. While you're there check out our great travel guides for your New Zealand road trip. 

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