Head 115km south of central Auckland to reach Thames, the gateway to the Coromandel Peninsula. This Peninsula is a popular spot for weekend getaways, particularly over summer. With countless picturesque beaches to relax on and huge expanses of bush to explore, you'll want to pack your sneakers and your swimwear to experience all this area has to offer! Keep reading to find out our favourite things to see, do, and eat on the Coromandel Peninsula.
Want to escape to Coromandel but don't have a car to get you there? Yourdrive has hundreds of privately-owned vehicles available to rent from kiwis all over New Zealand. You'll find a wide range of great-value vehicles in handy pickup locations across the country. Read on to get a sweet $20 discount on a Yourdrive rental!.
Discover New Chums Beach, Whangapoua
Located near Whangapoua in Coromandel, New Chums Beach is a golden sand paradise surrounded by lush native bush. This secluded beach was included in The Observer's list of Top 20 best deserted beaches in 2006. The beach is totally untouched as it is only accessible by water or foot, via a 1.5km walking track. Be sure to snap a photo from the top of the ridge before you descend to the beach through nīkau and pōhutukawa trees. Discover other secret beaches around New Zealand here.
Lace up and hike The Pinnacles
Scale the Pinnacles and admire the stunning views from 750 meters above sea level. Walk there and back on the Webb Creek Track (6 - 7 hr 30 min) or complete a circuit using the Webb Creek Track and the Billygoat Track ( 8 - 9 hr 30 min). If you’re wanting to pace yourself, spread the walking over 2 days and stay the night with fellow hikers at the Pinnacles Hut. Check out our guide to staying in Department of Conservation huts to find out what to expect.
Get up close and personal with wild pigs
In rural Coromandel, down a windy gravel road, you’ll find one of the Coromandel’s most popular, albeit unofficial, tourist attractions - a herd of wild pigs. There are dozens of them, of all different sizes and colours, and that number grows by the day as more adorable tiny piglets are born.
The herd is looked after by Stu, who has been living on the family farm since 1954. Stu is a classic kiwi character and while he looks a little dishevelled, he’s super friendly. He knows all of the pigs and will tell you more about each of the characters as you scratch their bellies and pet them.
To find the pigs, venture down 309 Road between Coromandel town and Whitianga. The herd is located 3km down the road, just before the waterworks. As you approach, drive slowly as they wander around like they own the place. Find out about other wildlife encounters around New Zealand here.
Have a relaxing soak at Hot Water Beach, Hahei
At high tide, this is a normal, albeit, stunning East Coast beach. Come low-tide, the hot spring beneath surfaces and piping hot water comes through the golden sand. Pack a spade/shovel and dig yourself a spa pool. If you forget a spade, you can hire one from a local spot (Hotties Cafe, Hot Water Beach Cafe and, the Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park) or hop into someone else's abandoned pool. Read about other natural hot springs and pools around New Zealand here.
Visit much photographed Cathedral Cove
You can’t not visit the iconic rock archway of Cathedral Cove. With water and foot access only, this spot is truly an untouched paradise. The 2.5km walking track hugs the coast, providing dramatic views of spectacular coastal scenery along the way. The Cathedral rock itself serves as a tunnel between two stunning beaches, but watch out for waves rushing in at mid-high tide - many unsuspecting tourists have been soaked!
Sip on L&P in its hometown, Paeroa
Iconic kiwi soft drink L&P originates from the small own of Paeroa. The L&P stands for Lemon & Paeroa as the drink was traditionally made by mixing carbonated mineral water from Paeroa's natural springs with lemon juice. If you're passing through the town, you must stop at a dairy to grab a bottle of the delicious drink before heading to Ohinemuri Reserve to get a picture with the 20-foot tall bottle! Post your picture on Instagram and tag #YourdriveAdventures to go in the draw to win the cost of your hire back (terms and conditions apply, find out more here).
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