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Your guide to Coromandel
All About Coromandel
Lush green cliffs descend to glittering white-sand beaches as turquoise waters lap the shore in New Zealand’s Coromandel region, two hours from Auckland. Stretching 53 miles north along the Bay of Plenty, this area showcases the unspoiled beauty of New Zealand’s North Island. The area is ripe with natural wonders, giving you your pick of outdoor adventures. Traverse rocky boulders as you search the shore for signs of dolphins and orcas at New Chum Beach. Te Whanganui A Hei Marine Reserve, also called Cathedral Cove, is a protected area that offers some of the best snorkeling in the country. Adrenaline-seekers can zip-line over canyons at Driving Creek and get an up-close look at the forest canopy.
Once famous for gold mining, Coromandel Town is now known as a laid-back artists’ haven that draws creative types from around the country and operates on “Coromandel time.” Colorful heritage buildings house numerous art galleries, boutiques, craft stores, and restaurants.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Coromandel?
With a subtropical climate, the Coromandel region doesn’t have distinct seasons, which is why most refer to them as simply summer and winter. It is temperate throughout the year, making Coromandel rentals and the area’s outdoor activities popular no matter the season.
December marks the beginning of summer, when the Pohutukawa flowers bloom in carpets of crimson. Come January, the new year kicks off with the Keltic Fair, the area’s biggest annual event, which boasts more than 300 arts and crafts stalls and welcomes 15,000 visitors. Winter brings big waves for surfers, and the area plays host to some big fishing and adventure sport competitions. The Illume Festival of lights is an event for all ages in July, with its incredible light displays and parades, fireworks, and a night market.
What are the top things to do in Coromandel?
A short drive or two-hour hike from Coromandel Town, the Waiau Falls cascade into a swimming hole surrounded by beautiful lush forest. The Rapaura water gardens and falls are also within reach from here, just under an hour’s drive away. To visit the North Island’s highest waterfall, head for the Kauaeranga Valley to marvel at the 590-foot-high Billy Goat Falls.
Hot Water Beach
On the Eastern Pacific shores of the Coromandel region, Hot Water Beach is well worth the hour’s drive from Coromandel Town. Be sure to visit within two hours of high or low tide to experience the hot beach springs bubbling up through the sand from an underground river. Once here, you can dig a pool in the sand, then lie back and enjoy your own natural steaming-hot spa.
Known for its community of artists, Coromandel Town hosts tours and exhibitions regularly throughout the year. No matter when you visit, there will be more than 30 resident artists happy to welcome you to their studios. All you need to do is pay a quick visit to the Coromandel Information Center and design your own art trail.