The Coromandel Peninsula is quite possibly the most beautiful peninsula on Earth. So we put together this helpful list of to-do’s when you reach it. Remember, the roads are windy, and the hills are steep, take extra care when driving.
The first stop on the Coromandel Loop is Thames. This is the ideal place to stop off and stock up on supplies. It’s a quaint town famous for its street market, which happens each Saturday from 8am - Midday, and has everything from fresh fruit and vegetables, to neat little trinkets.
Travelling north along the Coastal Highway will eventually bring you to Manaia, on the way, showcasing you uninterrupted views of the Firth of Thames. Manaia, named after the mythological Maori creature with the head of a bird and the tail of a fish, is a little-known town right on the coast. This is a stop for the nature lovers out there. While access to the Manaia Scientific Reserve is restricted, you can visit the Kauri Grove, home to hundreds of ancient trees.
*Make sure you clean your gear going in, and coming out, to prevent the spread of fungal diseases*
The peak of the Peninsular is home to a beachfront campsite. Sleep with the waves on your doorstep and let them lull the peace and tranquility of the Hauraki Gulf all around you. If camping isn’t your vibe, there are a few great backpackers nearby, styled perfectly like rustic ranches.
*Remember, we have rules about where you can park up, so if you’re unsure, double check HERE*
This tiny town nestled in the middle of nowhere is the ideal stop for a bit of rest and relaxation. The pace of Whitianga is exactly what you need to escape from the high-energy circus of the city. The highlight of this hidden gem? The Lost Spring. A thermal-pool and day spa. It’s impossible to be stressed in Whitianga.
Named after Captain Cook himself, when he anchored the famous ship HMS Endeavour in 1769. If the beach isn’t your thing, or you want to get a bit more active, the Shakespeare scenic and historic reserve offers a walk with one of the best views New Zealand has to offer.
Hot Water Beach
It's on everyone’s New Zealand Bucket List. Literally dig into the sand, and watch as it fills with hot water straight from the underground thermal springs. The beach is packed during summer, but we recommend going in winter. The beach is quiet, and there’s nothing better on a crisp cold day, than to dig a little and be warmed up by the earth itself.
Home to Cathedral Cove, the legendary setting for Insta-famous pictures, Hahei is a beach paradise. After checking out the stunning vista from the viewing platform, head on down to the cove to snap that iconic pic. While you’re down there, maybe even rent a kayak and take off through the waves, or snorkel in the clear New Zealand waters at Gemstone Bay.
The final stop on the Coromandel Loop is Pumpkin Hill. A brief, but brisk walk up the Pumpkin Hill track will reveal sweeping panorama of the nearby Tairua and Pauanui region, as well as a glistening view of the Pacific Ocean.
So get in your car, and take on the Coromandel Loop.
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