North Island’s Coromandel Peninsula is a part of New Zealand you’d be foolish to miss. With miles and miles of sandy beaches fringed by temperate rainforest, it’s the perfect place to kick off your shoes and unwind. Base yourself in Hahei, a laid-back holiday resort perfectly situated to take advantage of some of the prettiest beaches on the peninsula.
Here are the that are worth your time.
Coromandel Peninsula Attractions
A couple of kilometres north of Hahei and a common destination for kayak and boat tours you’ll find Cathedral Cove. Whilst many visitors arrive by water, it’s also possible to walk via a track from Hahei beach. Part of a larger marine reserve, Cathedral Cove is very popular with tourists drawn by the snorkelling in Stingray Bay and Gemstone Bay as well as the attractive scenery formed by coastal erosion. The cove is linked to another, Mare’s Leg Cove, by a cave and both bays contain impressive rock stacks, Sphinx Rock in Mare’s Leg Cove, and Te Hoho Rock in Cathedral Cove. Given its beauty, it’s hardly surprising that the cove was chosen by location scouts working on the Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian movie. Watch out for it in the film when the children re-enter Narnia.
Hot Water Beach
Head south instead of north from Hahei and you’ll soon reach Hot Water Beach. It’s not a great spot for swimming due to the dangerous rip currents and large breakers, but that’s not what brings nearly three-quarters of a million visitors to the beach annually. Fed by underground hot springs, for around two hours either side of low tide it’s possible to dig a hole in the sand and run yourself a bath full of nature’s own hot water. If you haven’t brought your own bucket and spade, don’t worry; they can be hired from the surf shop on the beach.
The Lost Spring
If you are looking to enjoy your geothermal experience in more salubrious surroundings, then you can’t go far wrong with The Lost Spring. Located in Whitianga, about a half hour’s drive north of Hahei around Mercury Bay, this day spa features a range of thermal pools at temperatures ranging between 32° and 38°C. Unlike Hot Water Beach, there’s no need to dig your own pool. Save your energy and relax, sip a cocktail and let the minerals in the water work their magic on your skin.
Where to stay
There are lots of accommodation options around the Coromandel Peninsula attractions area but one that gets consistently good reviews is Hahei’s Tatahi Lodge. Hosts Debbie and Richard go out of their way to make visitors welcome and offer a range of accommodation suitable for families, backpackers or, for those seeking more privacy, the Garden Lodge set in its own grounds. The owners are knowledgeable about the area and will ensure you don’t miss the Coromandel Peninsula attractions.