Local Attractions

The simple way of coromandel life

Hit the HD and play button, turn it up loud and enjoy why so many people come to visit and stay in the Coromandel

Welcome To The Coromandel

The Coromandel is a world renowned holiday destination offering pristine beaches, misty forests, world class fishing, scenic cruising, sailing, diving, kayaking, bush walking, mountain biking, helicopter, aircraft flight seeing and laid-back vibe,The Coromandel is one of New Zealand's most popular holiday destinations.

A binocular’s view across the gulf from Auckland, The Coromandel is everything that a big city isn’t. With a mountainous interior cloaked in native rainforest and more than 400 kilometres of dazzling white sand beaches, it is rustic, unspoiled and relaxed.

Activities and attractions are plentiful, from fishing and diving to hiking and cycling. You might choose skydiving in Whitianga or a guided sea kayak tour around the coast. For the more adventurous there's Sleeping God Canyon, a 300m vertical descent down a set of waterfalls.
You could wander among the coolness of the pristine bush; The Coromandel is a walker’s paradise. Explore the relics from the area's gold mining heritage, follow the Karangahake Gorge and Coromandel Coastal Walkway, hike the Pinnacles, or hop on your bike and cycle the Hauraki Rail Trail. Or simply sit and relax in a warm bubbling pool at Hot Water Beach where you can dig your own spa two hours either side of low tide. Don't miss the spectacular Cathedral Cove, the jewel of a protected marine reserve.

The Coromandel is the home of many artists and craftspeople. Pop into their studios – you’re welcome to visit – and pick up a unique piece of art or pottery to take home with you. It’s also the home of many events and concerts that draw locals and visitors alike to this remarkable place.

Coromandel Fishing

The Coromandel is rugged and mysterious, yet also a place to flop on a beach and watch the waves roll in. Uncover the history of the remarkable Coromandel peninsula. Coromandel fishing charters and fishing spots attract anglers of all levels of skill and experience. Fishing trips may include lakes, rivers, back country streams, saltwater fishing or big game fishing. Or you could choose to explore some of Coromandel's superb fishing spots yourself. Enjoy fishing at it's best in one of the world's great fishing countries

Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove is arguably one of the most picturesque spots (and there are many) in The Coromandel.

From beautiful Hahei Beach on The Coromandel you can walk to Cathedral Cove, where a naturally formed archway deserves photographic attention.

From the north end of the beach, a one hour walking track leads along the cliff top and then descends to the Cove. Here a gigantic arched cavern passes through a white rock headland to join two secluded coves. The cathedral-like arch gives the whole area an air of grandeur. The beach is sandy with shady pohutukawa trees along the foreshore - a perfect place for a picnic and a swim.


Hotwater Beach

Dig your own hot pool metres from the Pacific Ocean at world-famous Hot Water Beach. Great surf, cafes & art galleries add to this very kiwi experience.

Naturally heated mineral water bubbles up from deep within the earth to emerge through golden sand at the appropriately named Hot Water Beach.

Near the rocks at the southern end of the beach you can dig your own spa pool in the sand. Dig up to two hours either side of low tide – that's when the tide is low enough to expose the area of sand with hot water underneath. It's a strange but very pleasant feeling to be lying in a pool of hot water just metres from the refreshing sea.

If you have a spade or shovel, bring it with you. Otherwise you can hire one from the local cafes.

From the hot water area, the long sandy beach stretches north and curves east under a headland. Here you'll find sheltered and secluded spots for quiet, sleepy sunbathing.

For surfers, Hot Water Beach has good beach breaks in moderate easterly swells, however the presence of strong undertows means this beach is often dangerous for swimming.



Dive cathedral cove marine reserve

The first place that has to be visited is Te Whanganui a Hei Marine reserve, commonly known as Cathedral Cove Marine reserve. A great spot for snorkelling a protected reserve complete with a fun snorkel trail. The snorkel trail has floating buoys with pictures and descriptions of the species of fish found below the surface. There are boat tours from Whitianga that can take you to Cathedral Cove, alternatively you can walk from Hahei. Check out Gemstone Bay, plentiful snapper and crayfish on supply – albeit protected. Kingfish Rock’s name is self explanatory, you’ll also see leatherjackets, spotties and marblefish. Mahurangi or Goat Island to the locals (not to be confused with Goat Island north of Auckland) sits just outside the marine reserve, deep canyons and Spectacle Reef are the notable attractions. 
Mercury Islands

Not far from Hahei and the Marine reserve are the outer islands, pinnacles and volcanic coastline that present a bounty of aquatic life for the avid diver.

Reefs, sandy bottoms, caves, pinnacles, drop offs and islands are on show in the Mercury Bay and Islands. With names like Never Fail Reef and Red Mercury the promise of new discoveries is all to inviting. The Mercury Islands are best accessed from Whitianga.

Don’t miss the annual Dive Festival in Whitianga. This event has been running over a decade and attracts keen divers from around the world

New Chum, Kuaotunu, Otama, Opito Beach

The Coromandel offers some of the most stunning scenic and natural outdoor experiences that New Zealand has to offer and there are many fabulous destinations and activities that are well advertised such as Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove which are everything they promise to be. But, if you are looking for something; just that little bit more off the beaten track, a little less known about, completely affordable, and fun that the whole family can participate in, we recommend you take time to head to Kuaotunu, Otama Beach and Opito Bay.

Kuaotunu – Beach, Food and Fun
Kuaotunu is a small village that is 13 mins north from Whitianga or 30 mins east from Coromandel Town. Turn off into the Kuaotunu Town Centre and you’ll find the local reserve where you can then park, open the doors and let the kids run free. A gorgeous inlet river provides endless entertainment, and there is a glorious beach, rock pools at low tide and a fantastic coastal town vibe. Once you have had sufficient beach time head along to Luke’s Kitchen Restaurant right next door, for some delicious authentic wood fired pizza and fantastic family friendly and affordable atmosphere. It is open 3 days over the weekend in winter, and 7 days over summer.  

Otama - Golden Sand Paradise
Head over Black Jack Road. This road is steep, narrow and winding and it has gravel in parts so drive carefully, however the beaches that you will find on the other side will leave your jaw gaping. Head towards the small cluster of housing at Otama Beach and you will find a grass Reserve. Head down the cliffs and you’ll think you have stumbled upon Utopia itself. The golden sand, the gentle surf, the incredible overhanging Pohutakawa trees clinging to clay cliffs all make for an incredible natural playground. Try; skim boarding on a boogie board along the water’s edge, boogie boarding or surfing in the waves, swinging from the epic rope swing, playing for hours in the incredible natural tree root huts, sliding down the clay cliffs, and walking the golden stretches of sand while absorbing the days sunshine and surrounding beauty. And no doubt, you’ll hardly have to share it with another soul as it is secluded and special.

Optio – Sea, Walks, and Views
As if this area isn’t enough to satisfy even the most hardcore of beach lovers, you can then enjoy yourself even more by taking a further careful drive over the hill toward Opito. Here you can explore the crystal clear waters via kayak or swim, beach walk, boogie board and may even be lucky enough to do so with the dolphins and whales that are known to frequent this spot on occasion. This beach provides super safe swimming for kids with amazingly clear water. You can take a short walk up some steep but well maintained steps at the end of the beach to gain a spectacular horizon view that is speckled with Islands. Optio Bay is at the end of the road. There are no eating facilities there so you will need to head back over the hill to Kuaotunu to carry on around the Coromandel but, if you can afford the time this little detour off the main beaten track will reward you with astounding beauty and an area that is a family friendly safe and natural paradise.

New Chums Beach
New Chums Beach - Consistently named one of the world’s top beaches, New Chums Beach is, for those lucky enough to have visited; a true example of nature at it’s best. The beach is hidden away and accessible only by foot; the tranquil 30-minute walk in through native forest means the beach itself is rarely explored. This coupled with the pristine warm waters and white sands; make New Chums Beach a hidden gem.

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