Tracks, Trails and Beaches
We spent seven weeks in Whitianga. Still…not enough time!
Lay of the Land
On the peninsula’s west side overlooking the Firth of Thames is Manaia Lookout. Located just south of Coromandel Village, it is jaw-dropping beautiful.
The Coastal Walkway, Quintessential NZ
At the tip-top is a remote walk between Fletcher and Stony Bays – 10k, 3.5 hours one way.
First you have to get there. A company can be hired to escort you to one bay and pick you up at the other. We drove ourselves, which meant a 6 hour hike.
The Drive At Fletcher Road
On the west side past Colville the road narrows and becomes gravel under GIANT Pōhutukawa trees. For 90 minutes the coastal road winds deep into spectacular scenery with the ocean below, ending at Fletcher Bay.
The Coastal Walkway is mostly gentle, with a few steep sections, across a sheep station, through forest and dense bush. The payoff – rocky coastline views all the way to NZ Great Barrier Island.
Cathedral Cove/Te Whanganui-A-Hei
The most photographed shot in NZ is through Cathedral Cove Arch. Accessible only by foot (or boat) the track from Hahei Beach is a seaside splendor.
Hot Water Beach – Natural Geothermal Springs
Dig a hole on the beach for a soak as HOT water, 64°C (147°F) filters up from underground. The beach is long and wide but the magic hot spot is in a very narrow space – at LOW TIDE.
The Stupa at Colville
At the Mohamudra Centre for Universal Unity you circumambulate the Stupa to generate good thoughts. Or visit a Buddha who eats negativities. This meditation practice is to light a fire underneath the Dorie Khadro statue and throw seeds into his mouth while imaging your negativities (anger, jealousy, etc.).
Short drives from beach to beach, all are expansive, bright, with interesting walks.
New Chums Beach
A rocky start with a steep climb to a lookout…or bypass the climb and sit on this beach, designated by National Geographic Traveler as one of the world’s most beautiful.
Just off the main road, with a bike/walking path to Whitianga.
On the Water
Next time…we need a boat.
Oh, There Was Heaps More…
Gardens, kayaks, forests, waterfalls, kauri, The Pinnacles, live music! We made new friends, stayed in an awesome AirBNB (ask me), and rode a sweet little train, the Driving Creek Railway, hand built 35 years ago.
Daily strolls in Whitianga and Ferry Landing, a 5 minute ferry ride across the bay.
Our Farewell Glimpse at Tairua’s Paku Peak
Driving south, before leaving the peninsula.