Wilderness hiking, unspoiled beaches
and a laid-back outdoor vibe
The Coromandel region is a paradise for hikers, with trails coursing through spectacular scenery.
The Coromandel Coastal Walkway offers views of the Pinnacles range, crescent bays and offshore islands.
The Pinnacles Walk follows the peninsula’s craggy spine, and 360-degree views of the coast on either side of the cape make the climb to the top more than worthwhile.
Eastern beaches like Pauanui and Whangamata draw surfers with their consistent swells, while the west coast offers calm waters and safe swimming. Many of the coast’s most striking spots are best appreciated from the water – you can kayak through a soaring tunnel at Cathedral Cove and snorkel among its network of sea caves. At Hot Spring Beach, dig your own pool and soak in the naturally heated mineral waters bubbling up through the sand.
The region was the site of New Zealand’s first gold rush, and the interactive Waihi Gold Discovery Centre recounts mining history and lets you venture into the pit. Waihi is also a starting point for cyclists on the Hauraki Rail Trail, which follows old train lines through charming gold towns and rolling countryside. A journey along the narrow-gauge Driving Creek Railway takes you through native Kauri forest decorated with pottery sculptures and opens up breathtaking views of the Hauraki Gulf.
The Coromandel is a rich larder – look for macadamias, cheeses, boutique wines and craft beers, and shellfish like paua, oysters and scallops. Dine on food made with ingredients from local farms or plucked straight from the sea at breezy cafes and restaurants around the peninsula.