The Coromandel Peninsula is located on the southern side of the Hauraki Gulf, about 90 minutes by car from Auckland. New Zealanders love the peninsula for its beautiful coastline and forests. If you are looking for gorgeous beaches, snorkeling areas and hiking trails, this is the place to be.
There are three more or less large towns on Coromandel: The fishing mecca of Thames at the foot of the peninsula, Coromandel Town near the west coast and Whitianga on Mercury Bay in the east. You’ll find plenty of places to stay and shop in these villages.
If you are travelling without a vehcile, be warned: you won’t get far here without a vehicle. Coromandel shines with its spectacular nature, so there is little to do in the villages themselves, the highlights are outside. Nevertheless, it is practical to stay in Thames, Coromandel or Whitianga, as all kinds of tours and activities are offered here.
If you want to visit the peninsula’s number one hotspots, Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach, Whitianga or the small village of Hahei are the best starting points.
Cathedral Cove is a unique natural highlight, in our opinion one of the most beautiful in Coromandel.
Over thousands of years, the sea ate through the soft rock and created a large, arch-shaped tunnel with a high ceiling reminiscent of a cathedral. Not only the arch itself, but also the beach in front of and behind the rock is beautiful. Here you can swim, picnic or take a walk on the beach. You can also visit Cathedral Cove on a tour by kayak or glass-bottom boat.
If you’re a fan of The Chronicles of Narnia, you may recognize this iconic setting. This is where the scene was filmed for the second movie when Edmund, Susan, William and Lucy reach Narnia for the second time.
If you feel like a short hike, you can walk from Hahei Beach to Cathedral Cove in just over an hour.
There is also the option of walking to Cathedral Cove from the car park a little inland. According to the signs, it takes three quarters of an hour, but I only needed 30 minutes at a leisurely pace. The path is asphalted and very easy to walk.
On the way, you pass two other bays that are also well worth seeing.
Stingray Bay is a long sandy beach with a large rock grotto at the far end. The name of the bay comes from the stingrays that occasionally cavort in the shallow water to enjoy the warm sun.
At Hot Water Beach, New Zealand’s volcanoes make their presence felt in a fascinating way. Hot water streams rise to the surface on the beach and mix with the sea water. Here you can dig yourself a natural bathtub – an ingenious experience!
New Chums Beach is not only one of the most beautiful beaches in New Zealand, it was also crowned one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world! Paradoxically, however, there is hardly anything going on here; crowds of tourists seem to stay away from the beach. There are no signs of human intervention here, neither toilet blocks nor campsites nor roads.
New Chums Beach is a picture-perfect beach. Fine white sand, deep blue water, lush green jungle in the background. Swimming at New Chums Beach is not without danger and you should exercise caution here as well: There are strong currents quite close to the beach.
Also, if you are looking for a campground here, go to “Earls Paradise“.