Now accepting houseguests! But really – after a divisive, emotional, and trying
election day cycle, we’re hoping all Americans can find some positivity and peace. We’re in complete disbelief, so are spotlighting our happy place today as a distraction from the news. (But first, if you’re curious, check out how Kiwi press and leaders are taking the news.)
The Coromandel peninsula is one of those places where if feels like all is right with the world. As a belated anniversary and birthday celebration, we spent a long weekend in the popular summer holiday destination. The Coromandel’s official tagline is “Good for your Soul,” and with good reason. Known for pristine hidden beaches, hot springs, and rainforests, it certainly feels like it has healing powers.
The Coromandel Hotspots:
- Cathedral Cove: This is the most iconic attraction, and deserving of that status. From Hahei Beach, a track leads you down to a hidden beach and natural rock archway. You can take side trails to Stingray Bay and Gemstone Bay for different beach views – but no stingrays or gems. Stingray Bay was beautiful and much less crowded, so is worth a walk around.
- Hot Water Beach: Arrive at low tide, rent a shovel at the local cafe, find a hot spot in the sand, and dig your private jacuzzi. Sounds easy enough, right? Unfortunately we weren’t quite successful. Although Hot Water Beach is large, the hot spring is limited to a small portion in front of rock formations. Unless you want to fight crowds for the first available real estate (that turns into communal baths), we’d recommend going at exactly low tide when the most beach is exposed. We tried to dig our hole a little too early, and gave up because the tide kept washing away our progress. We’ll be back!
- New Chum Beach: With no road access, no houses, and no shops or cafes, this beach is truly protected from the masses. It’s a bit of a walk down a rocky trail, but worth it – it’s absolutely stunning and the perfect place for a picnic. We’ve heard that New Chum is consistently rated one of the best beaches in the world!
- The Lost Spring Day Spa: This is the go-to spot for pure indulgence. Since we had a lot to celebrate, we splurged on a package deal at the geo-thermal hot springs – an all-day pass to the pools, plus a mini massage and cocktails. Not to mention the fluffy his and her robes.
- Karangahake Gorge & Owharoa Falls: Throwing a little bit of history into our weekend of luxury, we stopped at the natural gorge once home to a large gold and quartz mining operation in the late 1800s. Now the population is staunchly opposed to mining, but the facilities and railroads have been preserved as a nod to the common Maori occupation. We did the Windows Walk and Rail Tunnel Loop, which pass through not only the beautiful gorge, but a tunnel more than 1km long. Close by is Owharoa Falls, a series of staircase falls perfect for a quick photo op.
If you feel like you need an escape, come visit! There’s plenty more to see (i.e. The Pinnacles!) and we’ll gladly join you on a drive to The Coromandel 🙂