The Coromandel area is located at the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. An area often overlooked since tourist tend to travel from Auckland directly to Rotorua. Officially the Thames-Coromandel area is part of the district of Waikato.
Start your journey in Coromandel town. Easy with public transport (Intercity bus from Auckland to Thames, then take the bus from Thames to Whitianga). You can stay at the Anchor Lodge. It contains of cottages and a hostel with dorm rooms. It has a nice small pool and a hot tub
The town of Coromandel is worth visiting. It is lovely. Small but cozy. The surroundings of Coromandel town are quite good for hiking. I am not a big hiker but I talked to this 70 years old lady who stayed in the lodge as well and she was a big fan of the Coromandel area.
After a two days stay at the Anchor Lodge I went to the bus to Whitianga and stayed at the TurtleCove hostel. This is the best place to start a famous tour to Cathedral Cove, Hahei Beach and Hot Water Beach. If there is anything you need to do when in New Zealand, do the walk to Cathedral Cove. You have to hike to the cove, there is no road.
Together with some German girls, I booked a tour guide. If you don’t have your own car, you need to. There is no public transport to that area. Of course you can try to hitchhike which I didn’t. First you take the ferry to Ferry Landing where the tour starts. This local lady showed us some other nice areas as well. Like Cooks Bay, a place where retired locals have a holiday house.
It is an easy path even for with not much experience. But you have to do the walk. Please stop by every bay along the way. It’s worth it. When you are finally there, your expectations will be met. More than that. I was lucky to be there on a very sunny day. Don’t forget your swimsuit! The water was still pretty cold but the experience is once-in-a-lifetime.
Hahei Beach and Hot Water Beach
Both very popular. Hahei Beach is famous because it’s suppose to be the nicest beach in New Zealand. I don’t know if I agree, because I have not seen all the beaches. Anyway, since I was in the area I decided to take the water taxi to Hahei Beach. Our tour guide picked me up there and drove us to Hot Water Beach.
Hot Water Beach is a beach where you can dig a hole in the sand and you will find a hot water stream. It was crowded with people digging to find their space. I watched the circus and decide to talk a walk down the beach. Away from the crowd. I just sat there for a while until it was time to go again. New Zealand‘s nature is so pure and so beautiful, you don’t need anything else.
When I am writing this blog, I am already at New Zealand’s South Island which has many awesome places as well. But still to me this Coromandel area with all the beautiful sites mentioned here is definitely on my top 3 list of must-sees in New Zealand. Even if you have little time, don’t forget the Coromandel!