Top 10 Things To Do And See On The Coromandel Peninsula

Broche Aroe Fabian

The Coromandel Peninsula’s slogan is ‘good for your soul.’ With its stunning beaches, numerous outdoor activities, and relaxed atmosphere, this little peninsula on New Zealand’s North Island’s northeastern coast is a welcoming paradise just a couple of hours from Auckland. Starting with a drive up the western coast to the northern tip and looping back along the eastern coastline, The Culture Trip has the top ten things to do and see on your road trip around the Coromandel Peninsula.

The Mana Sanctuary

1. Relax at the Mana Retreat Centre

Relax at the Mana Retreat Centre

Schedule your trip to arrive in time to hear the 6 p.m. bells chime from Tara, the mountaintop sanctuary a short hike from the Mana Retreat Centre. Walk the labyrinth, eat delicious vegetarian food, schedule a therapeutic massage, and take an outdoor bush bath to unwind. In the morning, drive 20 minutes to Coromandel Town, where you can enjoy an organic breakfast made from scratch at Chai Tea House, owned and operated by one of Mana’s founders.

Mana Retreat Centre, 608 Manaia Road, RD1, Coromandel, New Zealand, +64 7 866 8972

2. Meditate at the Mahamudra Centre for Universal Unity

University

Mahamudra University
© BrocheAroe Fabian

Meditate at the Mahamudra Centre for Universal Unity

Continue your journey and being at peace as you stop at Mahamudra Centre for Universal Unity. At the Buddhist meditation center, visitors can participate in a guided meditation or simply walk the gardens and take in the verdant valley views.

Mahamudra Centre for Universal Unity, 2183 Main Colville Road, Colville, Coromandel, New Zealand, +64 7 866 6851

Mahamudra University | © BrocheAroe Fabian

Gather Supplies from the Hereford ‘n’ a Pickle Farm Shop

Hereford ‘n’ a Pickle Farm Shop, 2318 Colville Road, Colville, Coromandel, New Zealand, +64 21 136 8952

3. Camp Overnight at Port Jackson

Camping

Camp Overnight at Port Jackson

Camp at the DOC Port Jackson Campground for $13NZD, where you’ll be literally steps from the beach. The campsite also has a book exchange program going and is a starting point for the Muriwai Walk (recommended for sunrise or sunset).

Port Jackson Campground, Port Jackson Road, Coromandel, New Zealand, +64 7 866 6932

Cows on the Coromandel Trail | © BrocheAroe Fabian

Hike Coromandel Walkway

The Coromandel Coastal Walkway is a must-do for anyone wanting to see the very best views. There are no roads along the tip of the Coromandel, so the only way to see the coastline is to do the three-hour hike from Fletcher Bay to Stony Bay. While a shuttle can be arranged to and from Coromandel Town, if you’re feeling ambitious, try for the seven-hour round-trip tramp, with a stop at the river at Stony Bay where you can dip your feet and eat a bite of lunch. The route isn’t treacherous, though you may run into a cow or two along the trail.

New Chum Beach

4. Experience one of the world’s 'Top Ten Beaches' at New Chum(s) (Wainuiototo) Beach

Park

Experience one of the world’s ‘Top Ten Beaches’ at New Chum(s) (Wainuiototo) Beach

After that hike, it’s time to relax in the sun. Drive across the peninsula and down the eastern side before swinging back toward Coromandel Town. Then take route 25 over and up toward New Chums Beach, just past Whangapoua. Park and walk about 30 minutes over boulders and through the woods until you come to a beach of stunning white sand, aquamarine waters, and surprisingly few people. Something about the little tramp keeps the hordes at bay, which means more room for you to stretch out and enjoy the sound of the surf.

New Chums Beach, Whangapoua, New Zealand

5. Food and Fun in the Sun at Luke’s Kitchen in Kuaotunu Beach

Bar

Food and Fun in the Sun at Luke’s Kitchen in Kuaotunu Beach

Farther down the east coast is Kuaotunu Beach, across the road from Luke’s Kitchen. Showcasing the best wood-fired pizza in the Coromandel, Luke’s has a café open during the day and a tiki-themed bar with live music open at night. Fresh, locally sourced ingredients ensure that whatever you order will be delicious. A less populated beach a little farther up the road is Otama Beach, so head there when you’re ready for some quiet time.

Luke’s Kitchen, 20 Blackjack Road, Kuaotunu, Whitianga, New Zealand, +64 7 866 4480

Stony Bay | © BrocheAroe Fabian

6. Sunbathe like a Local at Simpsons Beach

Sunbathe like a Local at Simpsons Beach

While the town of Whitianga has all the amenities you’ll need, when it’s time to hit the beach, drive five minutes up the road to the residential area known as Simpson’s Beach. The white sandy beach there is surrounded by the homes of locals, meaning tourists haven’t discovered it yet.

Simpsons Beach, Wharekaho, New Zealand

7. Go Sea Kayaking at Cathedral Cove

Cathedral

Cathedral Cove
Cathedral Cove is famous for its eponymous cavernous rock formation plus stunning sunrises, sunsets, or views any time in between. But for something a little different, try sea kayaking with Cathedral Cove Kayak Tours whose guides not only take you into the cove and make you fresh coffee, tea, or hot chocolate on the beach but also take you into other bays nearby, around the nearby islands, and provide local knowledge and snorkeling opportunities.

8. Experience Hot Water Beach

Experience Hot Water Beach

Each beach on this list offers something special, but Hot Water Beach is a truly unique experience. Grab your friends, grab a shovel, and dig your own hot tub right in the sand! The thermal waters beneath this beach mean the water is boiling hot, so channel your inner architect when designing an aqueduct to bring in cold water for the perfect temperature.

Hot Water Beach, Waikato, New Zealand
By BrocheAroe Fabian

BrocheAroe Fabian (pronounced bruh-khuh a-roy) is an American by birth who grew up traveling the world with her Anthropologist parents. She has an MFA in Writing Literature for Children, and currently works as freelance writer and marketing consultant. She enjoys fostering cross-cultural understanding through her travels. You can connect with her online here: WildlyTraveled.com, Facebook.com/wildlytraveled, Twitter/Instagram: @wildlylived.

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