The Magical Coromandel (in Photos)

“This place should have more visitors. It deserves them. You mark my words, the tourists will come flocking here in a few years when word gets out”
– my friend Ally, upon discovering the Coromandel for the first time
Most overseas visitors come to New Zealand expecting the epic snowy mountains from the Lord of the Rings. And they’ll find them too – when they visit the South Island. Sadly, this means many visitors find the North Island to be underwhelming. But, once you get out of the cities, the North Island is every bit as beautiful (albeit in a warmer kind of way). If you’re visiting Auckland in the summertime, do yourself a favour: hop on a bus or hire a car and get yourself to the Coromandel.
Whangamata beach (pronounced Fung-ah-mah-tah)
The Coromandel Peninsula is just a few hours drive from Auckland, but these sleepy seaside towns are a few degrees warmer than Auckland all year round. That’s probably why the whole area is overflowing with local holidaymakers around New Years. But, arrive just a few weeks earlier or later, and you’ll practically have the place to yourself.
It feels wrong to bore you with too many words about such a photogenic place, so I’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking…
Epic photobomb from my uncle, who now lives in Whangamata
My favourite beach on the peninsula: Hahei (pronounced Hah-hay)
Cathedral Cove – one of New Zealand’s stunning natural wonders
Cathedral Cove alone is worth visiting the Coromandel to see
Even on a cloudy day, Cathedral Cove is still a stunner
Hot Water Beach – bring a spade and make a natural spa pool
The Driving Creek Railway in Coromandel Township – built by one crazy potter over decades
The view from the top of the Driving Creek Railway
I honestly can’t recommend the Coromandel enough to people visiting New Zealand and wanting to see a less-touristy side of the North Island. It’s truly magical.