10 Coromandel Attractions
At this stage in the year its the perfect time to hit some of NZ’s premium tourist destinations…without the tourists
Without getting on a plane we have some incredible and accessible destinations to visit to cure the winter blues…and one of the closest for us is the Coromandel Peninsula
It’s a hard task to single out just a few attractions of the area. This area of the New Zealand is blessed with so much beauty….come with me on a wee tour
1. THE LOST SPRING
Experience luxury and relaxation in Whitianga’s beautifully hand sculpted pools filled with natural thermal spring waters, and surrounded by luscious native bush.
The Lost Spring therapeutic thermal pools offer a range in temperatures and depth to suit everyone. The Lost Springs largest thermal pool flows from warm shallows, past the bubbling Bathtub Terraces and through to the cooler waters of the Amethyst cave pool where the depth reaches 1 ½ metres. Sit back and relax in the natural spring mineral waters ranging from a cool 32degrees to a warm 38degrees. The Lost Springs Crater Lake Hot Pool is our warmest pool on location and can be found further up the path. With temperatures maintained at a toasty 40degrees you can enjoy a truly New Zealand thermal experience, nestled amongst NZ bush surroundings at the base of the TLS Volcano.
Relax and enjoy.
2. CATHEDRAL COVE
This stunning beach always appears on lists of the best attractions of the Coromandel Peninsula but I have no qualms including it in mine because it thoroughly deserves the attention. Called Te Whanganui-A-Hei in the native language, the beach has plenty of features that beach bums and photographers especially will love. There’s a large natural archway and a huge pumice rock pinnacle known as Te Hoho. The sandy beach is lined by pohutukawa trees and the water is crystal clear. If that’s not enough, the beach sits in the Cathedral Cove Marine Reserve with plenty of reef systems and sponge gardens teeming with marine life.
3. SLEEPING GOD CANYON
It is just as beautiful inland as it is on the coast of the Coromandel Peninsula. New Zealand’s wealth of natural attractions has earned it the crown of Adventure Capital of the World. For nature purists it often means that viewing opportunities are best either by doing something that involves climbing, flying, trekking or whatever, or waiting until the adventurers have finished for the day. Such is the case with Sleeping God Canyon in the Kauaeranga Valley. When it’s clear of people abseiling, canyoning, water sliding and ziplining, you can enjoy a series of beautiful waterfalls and stunning views.
4. HOT WATER BEACH
Hot Water Beach is NOT a secret! It is known around the world!
Hot Water Beach is located along New Zealand’s Pacific coast just south of Mercury Bay at the northeast tip of the Coromandel Peninsula
Some volcanos develop huge underground reservoirs of superheated water. Over time, this water will escape to the surface — cooling on the way. Within two hours either side of low tide, it is possible to dig into the sand allowing hot water to escape to the surface forming a hot water pool. The water, with a temperature as hot as 64°C (147°F), filters up from two underground fissures located close to each other. These natural springs can be found on the beach opposite the off-shore rocks. Visitors often dig large holes and relax and soak in the thermal water. Many visitors bring a spade and bucket with them. Spades can also be hired from the nearby surf shop.
5. MIRANDA FORESHORE
If you like your natural attractions with a large dose of wildlife – especially birds – you’ll love the Miranda Foreshore. Shell banks have built up along the foreshore and they provide not only ideal nesting grounds but great viewing spots too. The foreshore is visited by thousands of different birds all through the year from all over New Zealand and from as far away as the Arctic Circle. There’s a visitor center for anyone who wants to learn about the birds and their amazing migratory patterns. After some hours of bird watching, pop along to the Miranda Hot Springs for a dip
6. COROMANDEL TOWNSHIP
Once a wild colonial gold rush town, Coromandel is a place to enjoy Victorian architecture, arts and crafts, beaches and forest walks.
Coromandel township is full of history from the early gold mining and logging days. Set on a natural harbour, the town was named after the ship H.M.S Coromandel, which called here in 1820 to collect kauri logs to make spars for the British Royal Navy.
Today Coromandel is a quiet town and artists’ haven. As well as galleries and craft shops showcasing the local talent, Coromandel has many restored Victorian buildings, a narrow gauge mountain railway and a mining museum. With a variety of accommodation, activities and eateries, it makes a great base for local beach and forest explorations. Don’t miss checking out the local potters’ creations as well as a ride through the mountains on the Driving Creek Railway.
7. THE PINNACLES
The Pinnacles Trail is a country track that was built by Kauri bushmen between the 1870s and 1920s. It winds through the rugged, steep countryside of the lush, green Coromandel Forest Park to the Pinnacles Hut. You can follow in the footsteps of the bushmen, gold miners, gum diggers and loggers till you get to the Department of Conservation’s hut, where you can survey the breathtaking views of the Kauaeranga Valley, both coasts of the Coromandel Peninsula, the Hauraki Gulf and Plains, and the Bay of Plenty.
8. RAPAURA WATER GARDENS
Sometimes man’s hand does a good job in harnessing nature so we can enjoy it more easily, but without having a negative impact on the surrounding environment. Classified as one New Zealand’s “Gardens of Significance”, the 64 acres of private estate sits in an exalted position in the heart of the Coromandel Forest Park. Its central attraction is the “Seven Stairs to Heaven” waterfall , but the gardens are full of native ferns and trees, exotic plants and birds, huge lily ponds, bridges over streams and sculptures by an award-winning artist.
9. ONEMANA BEACH
I like my beaches kinda’ wild, and as much as I’m taken with some of the large sweeping beaches, one of the places to visit on the Coromandel Peninsula that’s on my lust list is Onemana Beach. This beach is blessed with fabulous outlooks from all angles. The beach itself is a
riot of color, with a crescent of golden sands backed by a sweep of pohutukawa trees which bloom bright crimson in November. The water goes through all shades of green and blue and there are randomly strewn rocks on the beach and brilliant views from the foreshore of the numerous offshore islands. A large rocky area is ideal for snorkeling, there’s a waterfall and a freshwater stream as a well as a small area where native sea birds breed.
10. COROMANDEL COASTAL WALKWAY
The Upper Coromandel Peninsula is remote, tranquil, awesomely beautiful and the ideal place to commune with nature and your soul. The walkway takes you past shimmering bays, quiet, isolated beaches, through pristine bushland, and over farmland, discovering jewels of nature as you go. Mount Moehau watches over you as you make your way from Fletchers Bay to Stony Bay – or in the other direction. The trail in one direction takes 3-4 hours and it’s time more than well spent.