Skip to content
Get early access to all the good stuff!
Join the club

The Coromandel — chocka block with places you must see

Coromandel Peninsula
North Island
Jason Granville
Jason Granville
Tour Guide
March 2, 2023
minute read

Discover the secret gems of our queen of the north, Aotearoa’s beloved Coromandel Peninsula

The Coromandel Peninsula is a treasure trove of lush, natural beauty steeped in history and brimming with vibrant art, culture, and community spirit. This small region spoils you for choice with over 400km of untouched white sand beaches and its rugged forested mountains.

Situated on the western tip of the far northern reaches of the peninsula, Port Jackson offers stunning scenery at every turn and is the ideal place to park on a picnic blanket for the day, have a swim or fish. To get there, you pass through Colville. Spend time exploring this ‘sweet spot’ and stop at the community-run, infamous General Store to pick up some local products from this thriving farming and artistic community.

Whitianga, Mercury Bay’s thriving main township, located on the peninsula's eastern side, is an excellent base with proximity to some of the region’s best beaches and bush walks. You’ll find all you need here with its delicious eateries, diverse retail shops and hip vibes. 

Walk from the pink sands of Hahei beach to the world-famous Cathedral Cove, or explore above and below the water by glass bottom boat or kayak. This huge arched cavern connects two small, picturesque coves aptly and is recognised as one of New Zealand’s most beautiful beaches. Part of the ‘Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve, you can snorkel or scuba dive amongst sponge gardens, coral reefs, and seaweed forests close to the shore or at nearby Mahurangi, Motueka and Poikeke Islands.

Cathedral Cove

Where else can you dig a hole in the sand and create a natural mineral hot spa?! Hot Water Beach is an absolute must for everyone. Visit during the two hours on either side of low tide. Near here, you can explore secret coves by kayak or stand-up paddleboard.

Hot Water Beach

There are countless walking tracks, whether exploring the kauri giants in the Coromandel Forest Park or meandering along the Coastal Walkway to enjoy the spectacular views. Immerse yourself in Raparua Gardens, which blends native forest with colourful displays of seasonal exotics, ponga sculptures and streams leading to the cascading ‘seven stairs to heaven’ waterfall. You can also experience New Zealand's only mountain railway through regenerating bush at Driving Creek. Whizz along the exhilarating zipline course, or unleash your creative side while turning your hand at the potter's wheel in one of their pottery classes. Waterworks is a fun, unique experience, regardless of age and interests. Their ingenious, quirky, upcycled attractions entertain the whole family for hours.

At Te Karo Bay, you’ll find the oldest Sailors Grave in New Zealand, dating back to 1842. This uninhabited beach north of Tairua is a famous surf, picnic and walking spot. Nearby Tairua is one of Coromandel’s best-kept secrets—Meander through charming boutiques and cafes to soak up this picturesque seaside village's quintessential laid-back kiwi lifestyle. The volcanic peak of Mt Paku rises above the horizon at the southern end of Tairua Beach and the harbour. Enjoy the birdsong of tui and bellbird as you walk the short, beautiful trail through native bush that weaves to the top of this accessible mountain for stunning views. 

Whangamatā is a great place to base yourself. With its multitude of delicious eateries and galleries, you can enjoy the surf culture of this cruisy town. From here, enjoy a stroll or dip along the golden harbour shores or head up to Wentworth Valley for a beautiful native forest walk that passes abandoned gold mines and leads to a stunning waterfall.

To discover more about the rich and colourful history of gold mining in the Coromandel, which spans three centuries, visit the award-winning Waihi Gold Discovery Centre

Coromandel Peninsula is a haven for anyone seeking a relaxing holiday with something for all the family. Whether you fancy swimming, snorkelling, fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, or prefer walking, pursuing galleries or relaxing, the majestic hills of the Coromandel and their breathtaking landscapes cast a spell that leaves you rested and restored.