The Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand
Located only one and a half hours travel from Auckland Airport, the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Coromandel Peninsula has a rugged range of mountains covered in natural rainforest running down the length of the peninsula.
The western side has a rugged coastline, with native Pohutakawa trees growing down to the shore line. On the eastern side, are a series of large bays, with beautiful, white sandy beaches. It is no wonder that the Coromandel Peninsula is a favourite holiday destination for Kiwis!
The region has a long and colourful history. Captain Cook visited here in 1769, and observed the transit of the planet Mercury going across the face of the sun. Hence many of the places on the Coromandel are named after Captain Cook's expedition, including Cook Bay and Mercury Bay.
In the nineteenth century there was a flourishing industry in timber, kauri gum, and gold mining. When this market ended, the region developed as a farming, fishing and tourist destination. Today the region consists of a number of small towns including Thames and Whitianga, all linked by the Pacific Coast Highway. The Pacific Coast Highway links Auckland with the Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, Eastland and Hawkes Bay. From there it is easy to either travel on to Wellington, or travel back through Taupo and Rotorua to Auckland.
The Coromandel Attractions
The Coromandel Peninsula is home to many artists and crafts people, so on your holiday the arts and crafts trail is a great way to follow the peninsula from one side to the other. All around the Coromandel Peninsula are small museums and places of interest to stop and visit.
Travel over to Hot Water Beach and there is a geothermal hot spring which bubbles up through the sand. At low tide you can dig your own natural hot spa pool! There are shovels available for hire at the local shop.
Guides will take you into the interior to view the remnants of the gold mining, logging days and some of the huge kauri that still remain. Learn about the colourful history and the life people led.
You can take a cruise to see the offshore islands. Go swimming, snorkeling, fishing or take a sea kayaking trip to Cathedral Cove. On the Coromandel Peninsula there are a range of walks from short day walks to overnight treks, both along the Coromandel Coast, and inland in the Coromandel Forest Park.