Daniel and I have been living in Auckland for almost a year and a half now, but we still hadn’t yet made a trip over to Auckland’s widely discussed neighbor during our time here. The Coromandel is one of New Zealand’s beauties, and is an amazing place to spend a weekend (or even a month) exploring. There are hikes, trails, and insanely nice beaches to visit. We knew that we had to visit before our time in New Zealand was up, and since the summer has been pretty good so far this year, we took advantage of a public holiday and started planning.
We didn’t know if we’d get a chance to go back, so we tried to see as much of the Coromandel Peninsula as possible in the few days we had. We decided that a road trip around the entire coast of the peninsula would be the best way to see it all. Just so you can see what I am referring to, I attached a map on the post. We started driving early on a Saturday morning from Auckland, and drove all the way up the west coast. The drive was beautiful, and similar to a PCH drive, it took us along the water and beaches the entire way. Since there weren’t many towns to stop in, we stopped in the only one we knew of, which was the small town centre of Coromandel for tea and coffee. Little did we know, that would be the biggest town we’d see that day. Our destination for the night was way up north in Port Charles, where we would stay in a quaint bach on the beach for the night before heading back down the east coast the next day. As we were driving to our place, we drove through and stopped for lunch in a teeny town (Colville) that consisted of a general store and a cafe, which was pretty much it. There was no cell service for miles and we realized that we were kind of in the middle of no where. Once we got to our destination (which was a challenge with no service), we were stoked that we were off the grid for a bit and happy to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. However, there were no restaurants or stores, so we were equally glad to have thought to pick up food and drinks from the tiniest town ever before arriving. By talking to some of the locals, we discovered that everyone living there was mostly self-sufficient, which was pretty cool to see. They lived right on the beach and were happy campers with a great sense of community. No TV and no wifi was quite the change, but we made do with games and chatting. It was a good change, but glad it was only one night since we weren’t totally prepared for that entire experience.
The next day we started heading down the west coast of the peninsula, which is where most of the iconic beaches and attractions are. We decided to stay the next two nights in a B&B in Whitianga, since it was pretty convenient being right in the middle of everything. It seemed like the next three days consisted of beaches and more beaches (but who’s complaining?). I probably couldn’t even name all of the ones we went to, because half of them were random beaches we drove past and felt like taking a swim in.. I’ve never done so many car changes before! Although the weather wasn’t great for part of the trip, we got by with pretty decent weather for most of it. The water at some of the beaches was surprisingly warm and so refreshing to take a quick swim in, even if it was randomly raining on us at the same time (classic New Zealand). Between the beaches and the rain storms, we were also able to squeeze in a few wine tastings and cheese platters, which made me very happy.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was visiting New Chum’s beach. It took a solid 45 minutes to get there from the furthest point cars could go. We probably didn’t pick the best time to start the journey, and we had to begin by wading across a pretty deep river/part of the ocean since it happened to be high tide. Once our clothes were completely soaked, we then had to trek across big sharp volcanic rocks, climb over and through trees, walk through deep mud, and through the tiny trail that would eventually lead us down a bunch of stairs to a secluded, private, white sand beach. It was beautiful. As soon as we stepped onto the sand I couldn’t put the camera down. It was overcast that day and we arrived late morning, so there were hardly any other visitors there. We practically had the entire beach to ourselves to enjoy. Once we found a spot to settle, we both went sprinting into the ocean, and dove straight in. Since we aren’t able to swim in any of the “beaches” near us in Auckland, this was a first time ocean swim for us in New Zealand, and it was heavenly. We stayed in for so long, body surfing the perfect waves and jumping around in the warm salt water. There were very few people there, and it was such a big beach that it was really nice to be somewhere that wasn’t so crowded. It was honestly probably the best beach I’ve ever been (so far in my life) and I would 10/10 recommend.
Another major highlight of the trip was visiting Cathedral Cove. However, this attraction was a lot more popular than New Chums and had a thousand times more tourists. It was pretty difficult to snap a pic without a bunch of peeps with their cameras jumping in the way, but I managed a few. It was another insanely beautiful beach, and although it wasn’t as big as New Chums, the water was crystal clear. We were out swimming to the point where we couldn’t touch for a while and I could still see the bottom. Now see I’m from California, and definitely not used to being able to see the bottom all the way out there, so it was awesome but also kind of freaky! The pictures are stunning, and you see the same ones everywhere (seriously just google Coromandel), but there is a reason for that. There is abundant beauty in Mother Nature’s sculptures, and you just can’t seem to get enough of it.
I don’t think I put my camera down for this entire trip, and although I can’t upload my entire camera roll here, I’ve put up a few of my favorites for you. We hope you have enjoyed looking at them, as much as we enjoyed taking them. Thanks for reading!
– Rylee & Daniel