10 Ways to celebrate the New Year Coro' style
1. Start with a bang - Fireworks in Pauanui and Tairua
Any vantage point is fine, as the fireworks shoot up from a barge moored in the centre of the harbour. A spectacular display, worthy of a large city production, and all funded by community and local donations. Stroll down to The Pepe or Royal Billy Point or sit up on one of the surrounding hills with your neighbours and wait for the pyrotechnics to begin on the stroke of midnight.
2. Sunrise from The Pinnacles
As one of New Zealand's best one-day hikes, this track is well-established with year round access. From the end of the Kauaeranga Valley Road, follow the stone steps up the Webb Creek Track to Camp Ground, the cross a plateau to the Pinnacles Hut. This Department of Conservation Hut is the largest in the country and a great place to overnight before climbing the last few metres to catch the first sun of the new year rising over the Pacific, glittering in the distance.
3. Barbeque on the beach - Port Jackson.
The northernmost point on the peninsula, in splendid isolation near the end of the road, and the start of The Coromandel Coastal Walkway. You can camp and barbeque right on the beach at the Department of Conservation campground. A perfect setting to contemplate the year gone by, and dream on the year ahead.
4. Stargazing - Hot Water Beach
Dig your own spa pool by starlight and bathe in the glow. If you are staying at the Top 10 Holiday Park in Hot Water Beach, head down to the shore early in the New Year to catch the first low tide of 2017 at 4am. You'll be sure to have company!
5. Clash of the Titans - Coroglen Tavern
Legends in Australasian music – Dragon, Mi-Sex and The Feelers - will go head-to- head, thrashing it out in The Coromandel's iconic live venue, the Coroglen Tavern. Rock out to some of New Zealand's classic summer anthems, and camp nearby to make the night last.
Tickets at the Coroglen Tavern, Ticketmaster, and Blackjack Surf in Whitianga. Contact the Whitianga i-Site for transportation bookings.
6. Family open-air concert - Whangamata
Chill out on your blanket or deck chair in Williamson Park to the summer sounds of Josh Leys, DJs and The Dozen. From 8pm 'til the wee hours. All part of the Whangamata Summer Festival, an alcohol-free supervised programme for youth and families. An exciting addition this year is two New Year's Eve performances (2pm and 9pm) by thebreaksnz, New Zealand's premier breakdance crew.
7. Luke's Kitchen - Kuaotunu
Local's favourite right on the beach, plenty of room to hang out and chill to the live music. Local ales from Blue Fridge Brewery, rustic wood-fired pizza, all the elements for a catch up with friends to see the old year out Coro' style.
8. Picnic on the point - Coromandel Town
Watch the sun go down on the old year over the tranquil Hauraki Gulf from the Kauri Block high above Coromandel Town. Leaving Wharf Road, its a short walk up the right-hand fork to the highest point, an old pa site which offers spectacular 360° views of the Coromandel Ranges, Islands and township.
9. Yoga on the sand- Waihi Beach
Begin as you mean to go on. Join Jeannette on the beautiful and tranquil sands to welcome in the New Year with yoga. Start the year with flow and peace. Meet at the North End at 7am.
10. Cruise the Waihou on the Tamati
Take a leisurely evening voyage on the restored paddleboat, the Tamati, built in 1902 by Bailey & Lowe in Auckland. Tamati is 32 feet and has a kauri planked hull with hardwood (Jarrah) ribs.
She cruises on the Waihou and Ohinemuri rivers and is docked at the Paeroa Maritime Park, (also home to the region's most spectacular display of Christmas lights from early December).