Coromandel Peninsula

Coromandel Peninsula

If you look east from the City of Sails across the sparkling Hauraki Gulf, you will get a glimpse of Auckland’s best-loved holiday destination.

The long, humped, misty blue line of the Coromandel Range on the eastern horizon, may seem unprepossessing at a distance. But to many outdoor lovers it signifies red-letter days in the sun, coastal views to sigh for and balmy evenings around the barbecue and wine cask.

‘Coro’ is only 1.5 hour’s drive away for Aucklanders but, somehow, once you cross the narrow Waihou River bridge, you are in another world. The slower, relaxed lifestyle here has an irresistible pull. The delightful small towns and holiday resorts, the golden surf beaches, coastal walkways and forest-clad hills, are all part of the magic.

Highlights that spring to mind are; the joys of bird-watching on the Firth of Thames, the hard-won heritage of mining and kauri milling in places like Thames and Coromandel, the pristine isolation of Port Jackson and Fletcher’s Bay in the north. Some of ‘New Zealand’s Finest’ beaches are at Hahei, Hotwater Beach, Matarangi and Whangamata.

A most appealing feature of the peninsula is the stark difference between the two coastlines. The west is characterised by steep hills plunging onto a narrow winding coast road, ablaze with crimson pohutukawa blossoms in early summer – our very own Christmas tree. The east is renowned for sweeping white sand beaches pounded by Pacific surf. Equally fashionable are the hidden coves and sheltered harbours, ideal for swimming, snorkelling, diving, boating and fishing.

Coromandel history is written on the land in many ways. Ancient Maori pa sites, kauri logging dams, gold mining relics, colonial hotels and miners cottages in the towns. Coromandel and Thames stand out for the charming colonial architecture and historic buildings. Stamper battery foundations in Karangahake Gorge testify to the massive scale of gold mining operations. It seems miraculous that the peninsula has been able to recover from the all out assault on its hills, valleys and forests.

The rugged, volcanic peninsula is a walker’s dream, combining sightseeing, tramping, hunting, angling, fossicking, rock hounding and an absorbing heritage, history and ecology. Tracks are well defined and huts are placed at strategic intervals for multi-day tramps.

The Coromandel Craft Trail opens up possibilities for many enjoyable visits to artist’s studios and galleries, ‘Coro’ people are relaxed and welcoming and interaction with artists and craftspeople add a colourful dimension to peninsula life.

Millions of years were needed to form the ruggedly beautiful Coromandel Peninsula. Why not take a few days to enjoy its pleasures. The new gold rush is recreational tourism. Go for gold in these lush green hills.

By | 2014-08-10T04:53:29+00:00 April 12th, 2014|Coromandel|0 Comments

About the Author:

Danny de Hek
Like most people, I have many passions, goals and dreams. As a self made business professional, my focus is helping my clients, associates and friends, build, strengthen and maintain their success. It would be fair to say I am in the full time business of building relationships and feel my purpose and skill is connecting the right people with the right people. My professional work tends to dominate my personal life, to the horror of my partner and business mentor. They both fully support me yet give me the hard truths when I need to hear this. I am always investing in my personal development to have a fulfilled work/life balance. I enjoy Target Shooting, Hiking & Mountain Biking to clear the brain and to take the guilt away when indulging at a quirky cafe for a cooked breakfast or brunch. My passion for travelling has seen me experience the world on many occasions, my next adventure will be doing the Tibet Rail Journey on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway from Lhasa to Golmud as long as they have Wi-Fi aboard ;-) I have many goals I still wish to achieve but am pretty chuffed that I have accomplished so many of these already.

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