Road trip on the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

by possandruby

A trip to New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula is summed up perfectly in the region’s promotional tag line ‘Good for your soul’. From the towering Kauri trees and hidden waterfalls to the pristine white sand beaches, ‘the Coromandel’ as it is affectionately known is brimming with some of mother nature’s finest work.

Situated on the eastern side of New Zealand’s North Island the peninsula reaches out toward the Pacific Ocean. It is easily accessible by road, a comfortable 90-minute drive from Auckland on State Highway 25. There is also a regular passenger ferry between Coromandel Town and Auckland.

In a few days you can easily explore some of the Coromandel’s star attractions. As our visit was in summer, the weather was stunning so most of our time was spent enjoying some of the beautiful beaches. 


309 Kauri Grove and Square Kauri Walk

Driving north along the west side of the Coromandel Peninsula the the lush landscape is home to spectacular native Kauri trees.  Take a 20 minute walk to visit the Square Kauri estimated to be over 1200 years old. The walking track is short but steep so wear suitable footwear and take some water with you.  When you visit the 309 Kauri Grove there are multiple trees growing together. The walkways are well built and signed and local cicadas provide a natural soundtrack. These towering beauties are threatened by disease and are protected and there are stations in place to clean your shoes to reduce to opportunity for disease to be spread. Please make sure you treat these areas with respect.

Find out more about the Kauri Heritage and locations here


Waiau Falls

On the way to the 309 Kauri grove stop in at the beautiful Waiau Falls. Enjoy a cooling stop here among the shady trees perfect for a picnic and if the weather is warm you can cool off with a swim here.


The Lost Spring

Centrally positioned in Whitianga just a stones throw from Mercury Bay is a hidden oasis where you can relax in geo-thermal pools. Open daily from 9.30am you can choose from a selection of pools that range in temperature and size. The pools are fed from  water coming from more than 667 metres below the earths surface. It is believed that the waters are more than 16,000 years old.  The lush tropical gardens line the pools and walkways. An onsite day spa offers a range of body treatments and massages. Be sure to  book ahead to avoid missing out on these indulgent experiences as they are extremely popular.

The Lost Spring,121 A Cook Drive, Whitianga


There are dozens of beaches on the Coromandel Peninsula that are worth a visit. With pristine clear water and golden sand many of these beaches you will find few people to allow you to truly soak in the idyllic atmosphere.

New Chums Beach – This isolated beach has been voted as one of the world’s top 10 beaches. Check tides before walking in this walk requires a bit of rambling over rocks and logs and is not for the faint hearted but the spectacular sight at the end if worth it.

Cathedral Cove – Depending on where you park the walk to the cove can be around 90 minutes. The walk takes you is up and down hill and whilst the paths are mostly tarred, I recommend sturdy footwear not flip flops. It is certainly worth the walk. There is a shuttle bus from the car parks which is handy and cuts some time off the walk especially in the hat of the day.

Hot Water Beach – Just a short drive down the road and is named for the geo thermal waters beneath the sand.  You can rent or BYO spade and dig down to find the warm water and lay back and relax as you watch the waves roll in.

Sailors Cove – The lesser known yet stunning beach of Sailors Cove is particularly peaceful with not a soul in sight. The ocean itself is pretty wild so take care when swimming here as there is no life guards on duty and the next stop if you get caught in a rip is Antarctica.



Wharf Road Cafe

This stylish space invites visitors to dine on a contemporary seasonal menu of featuring fresh mouthwatering dishes.  Open for breakfast and lunch 7 days a week the cafe offer indoor and outdoor dining.  The coffee machine hums quietly as townsfolk swing by for their regular order. There is an indulgent selection of sweet treats that can complete a meal or be taken away for a later date. The cafe is also licensed and has a great selection of local beer and wine.

24 Wharf Road, Coromandel Town

Stoked Restaurant and Bar

Perfectly positioned on the Esplanade opposite Mercury Bay Stoked Restaurant and bar is open for lunch and dinner. Friendly staff serve a locally sourced menu of seafood and grills and delicious cooked-to-order wood fired pizzas. The outdoor deck is the perfect spot to enjoy a meal on a balmy night or there is plenty of indoor seating too.

Stoked Restaurant and Bar, 19 Esplanade, Whitianga


A welcoming bistro style bar with a series of generous menus for all times of the day. There is a great outdoor dining space or you can dine inside in air-conditioned comfort.  The fish and chips here was fresh and delicious and there are specials every day of the week. Open 7 days a week from 9am drop in for a casual meal and a local glass of wine or beer.

Manaia Kitchen & Bar, 228 Main Road, Tairua, Waikato


Grafton Cottage and Chalets

A collection of self contained cottages with stunning views over the Firth of Thames. There is a perfectly positioned hot tub on site that looks out to the sunset a great way to unwind at the end of the day. The open plan cottages are spacious and the kitchenette has everything required to self cater if you choose. The cottages boast a seperate compact bathroom with quality hot water and shower pressure.

The Boat Shed @ Whitianga

This self-contained space is complete with enclosed entertaining area complete with BBQ facilities.  There is a large queen size bed and bunk beds as as well. The kitchenette has everything you need and super host Dianne, leaves a few goodies in the fridge for you. Walking distance to the restaurants of the esplanade and the beach and The Lost Spring the boat shed is perfectly positioned for a great stay.

Have you visited the Coromandel Peninsula? What did you discover there?  We would love to hear your comments and hear about your adventures so leave you comments below or tag us on social media @possandruby

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