The Not So Famous 5
The Coromandel is renowned as kiwi’s favourite holiday destination because of it’s natural attractions such as Hot Water Beach, Cathedral Cove, New Chum, The Pinnacles and Karangahake Gorge. A mix of seaside and heritage towns add to the holiday atmosphere that make this region so popular. Being so close to Auckland, Hamilton and Rotorua make it an easy place to escape to. Iconic attractions aside The Coromandel also has it’s fair share of gems.
1. Paeroa Antiques Capital of New Zealand
Paeroa has long been known as the town that’s world famous in New Zealand. Over the years it’s also established itself as the antiques capital of the country and is a treasure trove for those in search of something other than a photo next to the giant L&P bottle. Paeroa is in the middle of the Hauraki Rail Trail that travels from Thames to Waihi and Te Aroha.
Beautiful beaches, consistent surf, the Wentworth Valley bush walks and Beach Hop are just some of the attractions that contribute to Whangamata’s popularity.
Many of Whangamata's offshore islands are a Wildlife Sanctuary that are to be respected as such. However, paddling around these islands makes for a great adventure in one of New Zealand's favourite playgrounds. Please note Whenuakura (or Donut Island) is not to be landed upon, preservation of this island is the priority.
Whenuakura Island, or Donut Island to the locals, is the next attraction to assume iconic status alongside other regional attractions like Hot Water Beach. A short paddle-board or kayak to Donut Island will be rewarded with scenes that inspire the imagination. A castaway or pirate would feel at home in the secluded serenity of Donut Island.
3. Port Jackson
Coromandel Town is an attraction in itself, however it’s not worth travelling that far without getting further off the beaten track and heading to Port Jackson. Along the way tourists will experience a Coromandel traffic jam with sheep, cattle and friendly farmers wandering the gravel roads. The further north you go the more intrepid you’ll feel and the more impressive the pohutukawa lined roads and crystal clear waters will get. Plan ahead if you want to stay the night in a peaceful campground or fishing lodge when visiting.
4. Coromandel Town and the ferry to Auckland
Within 2 hours you could arrive in the peaceful Coromandel valley after departing from the bottom of Auckland city’s main street. The ferry journey between Auckland and Coromandel Town is a great way to enjoy a leisurely journey missing the windy roads. Pass through the islands in the Hauraki Gulf, sail past dolphins and whales before approaching the operating mussel farms. Upon arrival into Coromandel Town your appetite will be replenished with homegrown dining from award winning cafes and restaurants.
5. Fish & Chips on the Shorebird Coast
The typical route between Auckland and the Coromandel is via SH2 and the motorway. A recommended alternative is to cruise the Pacific Coast Highway which takes in the Shorebird Coast and rural plains. Stop off at the Miranda Holiday Park for a swim in the hot pools before tucking into the fresh fish and chips in Kaiaua.