New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula is a stunner amid stiff competition. Located 35 miles east of Auckland, from where it’s visible on a clear day, and across the Hauraki Gulf from Waiheke Island, it is easy to reach and you should definitely visit Coromandel Peninsula if you’re planning a trip to North Island.
Why Visit Coromandel Peninsula
The perfect antidote to city living
If you’ve enjoyed your visit to Auckland but are yearning for a bit of peace and quiet, you can’t do much better than driving to the Coromandel. Its verdant, hilly interior and strips of white sand beaches offer the traveller a laid back location for a bit of rest and recuperation.
Plenty of activities and attractions
That’s not to say there’s nothing to do when you visit Coromandel Peninsula. Amidst this unspoiled location, you’ll find a wealth of activities and attractions to fill your days. Many locals make their living from art or crafts, making this a great centre for studio hopping and gallery browsing. Those seeking an adrenaline rush will be thrilled by a skydiving adventure at Whitianga or a descent 300 metres down the spectacular set of waterfalls that leads into Sleeping God Canyon. For those looking for a more sedate option, there’s the exquisite Cathedral Cove, a marine reserve whose impressive land forms have been sculpted by the sea over thousands of years, and of course the delights of lounging around in nature’s hot tub, Hot Water Beach.
A walker’s paradise
In a nation famed for its Great Walks, the Coromandel has no shortage of hikes and tramps to delight the visitor. An easy stop on the State Highway 2, the Karangahake Gorge at the base of the Coromandel offers a glimpse into the area’s mining heritage. Pass through a kilometre-long railway tunnel and on to Owharoa Falls and the Victoria Battery, established at the end of the 19th century for the purpose of crushing quartz. Further north, the famous Coromandel Coastal Walkway links Fletcher Bay and Stony Bay via scenic panoramas that showcase the very best coastal vistas as well as stunning views of Mount Moehau. Also up north, you’ll find the Muriwai Coastal Walk leading up the headland from the Port Jackson campsite located right at the water’s edge.
The best place to catch the sunrise
Those in search of an overnight hike will be more than satisfied with the Pinnacles Track, once used by the Kauri loggers, gum diggers and gold miners that used to make a living in these parts. Get up early and hike to the top: from the top of the Pinnacles there’s a 360° panorama comprising both the Coromandel coasts, the Bay of Plenty and the Hauraki Gulf. Now, if that’s not a view worth getting out of bed for, I don’t know what is.