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The Coromandel Peninsula is a popular destination to retreat to, where you can relax on one of the many pristine and picturesque beaches, explore the rustic and dramatic coastlines and discover the bountiful hidden charms that the region has to offer. The laid back culture, locally known as ‘Coromandel Time’, encourages a relaxed atmosphere that is better understood once experienced.
If you are looking for the ideal accommodation to explore this region, be sure to visit the Bachcare website, where you can instantly book a range of self-catered holiday homes online. A holiday home is a great place to base yourself for your stay, providing space, privacy, comfort, and great value for money!
There are so many things to see and do in the Coromandel region and here is our list of top things to do in The Coromandel, NZ to help you plan your itinerary.
1: Visit Cathedral Cove - Famous for the opening scene of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Cathedral Cove is well known for its naturally formed stone archway that acts as the framework to one of the most picture perfect beaches in New Zealand. Accessible only by foot, boat or kayak, any effort made to get here will be well worth it and you will not be disappointed with the end reward. Here you can enjoy a picnic, take a guided tour, swim or snorkel and marvel at the abundant aquatic life in the marine reserve.
2: Dig a hole at Hot Water Beach -This unique Kiwi attraction is a must-do for all visitors, local or international to tick off their bucket-list. The best time to visit Hot Water Beach is two hours either side of low tide, when you can find a spot on the golden sands and dig away to create your own natural hot tub, and relax in the natural springs and enjoy this truly unique experience.
Please note the water can be extremely hot, so you need to be careful where you stand! The beach is also popular with surfers, and has some lovely cafés and art galleries to enjoy.
3: Discover Beautiful Beaches - As well as the notable Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach, the Coromandel Peninsula is blessed with a plentiful choice of other stunning beaches, some are perfect for swimming and relaxing such as Cooks Beach, Pauanui Beach, Oamaru Bay, Hahei Beach or New Chum Beach which has also notably been voted as one of the top ten beaches in the world. While other beaches such as Whangamata Beach, Whiritoa Beach, Tairua Beach and Onemana Beach, are not only popular with swimmers but are also great hotspots for surfers too. There are so many gorgeous beaches and bays to discover on the Coromandel that it may be hard to find a favourite!
4: Explore Karangahake Gorge - The Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway follows the old railway line between Paeroa and Waihi, where you can stroll or bike along the scenic river trails, explore old mine shafts and tunnels, and learn about the old mining and railway eras. Once the site of one of the biggest goldmining operations in the Southern Hemisphere, today it is a stunning area for biking, walking, having a picnic or just to simply enjoy the natural beauty of the landscape.
5: Experience Driving Creek Railway - Take a scenic journey on one of New Zealand’s most unique and special railways. Travel through native Kauri forest and see impressive man made features. A wonderful feat of engineering and ingenuity, the train climbs to the mountain top station where you can admire the spectacular views. Come and enjoy New Zealand's only narrow-gauge mountain railway along with a working pottery and wild life sanctuary at Driving Creek Railway & Potteries.
6: Enjoy Mill Creek Bird & Animal Encounters - Situated in a tranquil rural valley just 10 minutes from Whitianga, Mill Creek bird & Animal Encounters is a delightful farm, come zoo, come animal sanctuary. Home to over 400 birds, including Cockatoos and Macaws, and a myriad of other critters such as, Blue-Tongue Lizards and Bearded Dragons. You can also wander around the farm area where you can pat the bunnies, mini horses, and alpacas, and feed the goats, Kunekune pigs, geese and more! Kids can play on the playground and adults can grab a coffee from the Station Café. The owner’s passion and enthusiasm shines through in the beautiful facilities and the happy animals that are all very loved and well taken care of.
7: Check out The Waterworks - Be intrigued and inspired by quirky and interactive creations that all involve water! The Waterworks has a great kids playground, a cute little café or during the summer months you can make the most of the free picnic and BBQ spots. You can also cool down in the beautiful swimming hole or just relax and enjoy the stunning surroundings. The Waterworks is a great day out for all the family; even your canine family members are welcome.
8: Savour the goodness at Mercury Bay Estate - The stunning Mercury Bay Estate is a boutique, family owned vineyard and winery with their aim to produce Coromandel's finest wines using sustainable means. Take the time to relax and enjoy a glass of wine with a delicious platter of local food matched with their wines crafted exclusively for Mercury Bay Estate and also enjoy beautiful vistas of Mercury Bay.
9: Go Fishing - The Coromandel is well known for some of the best fishing spots to be found within New Zealand. If you are keen to get out on the water in search of the ‘Big One’, then make the most of the numerous fishing charters on offer, who would all be delighted to take you out for a great day fishing. Beginners and experienced anglers are all welcome!
10: Get your Walking & Hiking shoes on - Come and experience the breathtaking beauty of the Coromandel that most people never see! Enjoy a variety of walking tracks to suit almost every level of fitness. While you explore the Coromandel on foot you will get to enjoy the magnificent New Zealand native bush, take in the spectacular Pacific Ocean vistas and simply relish the fresh air. There are plenty of gems to be discovered on your own or as part of a guided tour.
With its lush native forests, glittering white sand beaches, and its natural, rustic beauty, the Coromandel Peninsula makes an idyllic place to visit and it is easy to see why it has become a hot Kiwi holiday spot.
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