Top places to watch the sun rise

The iconic coast of The Coromandel surrounds a mountainous backbone.That means you are never too far away from a high point to catch the first rays.

Orokawa Bay

From the northern end of Waihi Beach, it's an easy walk around the point to this secluded Pohutukawa-fringed bay. Plenty of shade and grass too, for a picnic and a long lazy day at the beach.

The Pinnacles

Regarded as one of New Zealand’s best one-day hikes, you might prefer to stay the night in the Department of Conservation hut for this sunrise expedition.  From there it’s a steep climb on ladders and stairs to the rugged volcanic summit, the highest point around.

Waikawau Bay

At 42 km northeast of Coromandel Town on a narrow gravel road, this spot is well off the beaten track. There’s a comfortable Department of Conservation Lodge and large campground right across the road from the stunning long white sand surf beach.

The ridge behind the lodge has great views over the native bush-clad hills to the sea, but it's a real tramping track, so a torch is a good idea. The walkway leaves the pump house paddock behind the lodge, by a stile over the Matamataharakeke stream.

Te Pare Point.

Located at the eastern end of Hahei Beach (past the swing). This narrow spit of land provides magnificent vistas across the sheltered Mercury Bay and offshore islands and the broad Pacific horizon out past Hot Water Beach. Good for sunset too.

Cathedral Cove.

Good at any time, this a photographers’ sunrise favourite. The track is in great condition so it’s an easy 30-minutes walk in the dark. Stay nearby in Hahei to be close.

Mount Pauanui

From the carpark at the south end of Pauanui Beach, you have a steep climb ahead, 30 minutes for the fit and keen. Slipper and Shoe Islands lie just off the coast with Mayor Island and the Aldermen on the horizon. The views north toward Tairua and east over the harbour to the rugged Coromandel Ranges provide further photo ops at any time of day.

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