There is nothing better than exploring your own backyard, and luckily for us in New Zealand we have some amazing places on our doorstep. One of the most stunning and scenic is The Coromandel.
There’s just so much to do there. Biking and hiking trails across The Coromandel can be enjoyed by everyone. You can experience new challenges, new views, new valleys and vistas.
Newshub does the hard work for you and finds out how you can ‘take it easy’ on The Coromandel by taking your foot off the gas, and soaking up some glorious sights on foot or by bike. Here are five reasons you should make a point of checking out The Coromandel.
1. A world away - with wide open spaces
Drive through rolling green countryside to reach out-of-this world beaches – there really is something magical about The Coromandel.
The geography of the area makes it easy to get around. In Northern Coromandel you can hike high into the hills, deep into Kauri groves and down to the sea. In South-Eastern Coromandel, you can experience the region’s mining history up close. There really is something for everyone. For some inspirational walking and biking experiences we recommend you check this website first.
2. Easy trails that can be cycled or walked all year round
So if you’re looking for some ideas to inspire you, here are few suggestions to start with - recommended to us by locals who know the area well.
Firstly if you enjoy walking there are plenty of options for you. Highlights include The Pinnacles, Kauri Grove, Coromandel Coastal Walkway and the Bluff Track.
Hike through Broken Hills at Puketui Valley, and the Collins Drive Loop, complete with Collins Drive Tunnel and resident glow-worms is an experience you don’t want to miss.
Wentworth Valley near Whangamata, and the stunning Karangahake Gorge will be good for your soul. The Gorge has a swing bridge and gold mining relics from years gone by. The 2.5km Windows Walk is a favourite for kids, where the ‘windows’ are actually four openings cut into a series of tunnels, allowing jaw-dropping views of the gorge far below.
If you’re keen on biking- there’s a mix of leisurely rides through the lush Hauraki Rail Trail and thrill-seeking adventures through forested tracks nestled deep in the Coromandel ranges. Highlights include the Karangahake Tunnel, Buffalo Beach Trail and the Shakespeare Headland Track.
Bike adventures can be found along the Coromandel Coastal Walkway and the Hauraki Rail Trail (part of the NZ Cycle Trail)
In Thames and surrounding areas, riders of all ages and abilities can enjoy trips from town to town, pedaling any section of the 197km Hauraki Rail Trail at their own pace.
Bike parks are always a hit with the kids and The Coromandel is home to Whangamata Ridges Mountain Bike Park, Mercury Bay Bike Park, Thames Scarface Mountain Bike Trails in Moanataiari, and the Kauaeranga Valley Mountain Bike trails.
For more experienced riders, pedal your way up proud mountain ranges in Thames, Whangamata and Kauaeranga Valley and be rewarded with breath-taking panoramas and thrilling downhill single-track you will not forget in a hurry.
3. Escaping the crowds
Right now is a good time to escape the masses and ‘disappear’ with your loved ones for a while. The Coromandel could be just the spot for Kiwis to rediscover Aotearoa. You can literally take a step back in time and relax. For families it offers the ultimate easy vacation, close to nature.
For a truly natural experience the Hauraki Plains and the Shorebird Coast is home to a diverse natural landscape containing acres of native forest, idyllic coastline, rolling rural hills and plains and the wide Waihou river.
Another unique Kiwi experience every New Zealander should experience at least once in their lifetime is Hot Water Beach. Families, kids and couples can be seen digging their own spa pool in the sand and relaxing in the natural springs. Often rated as one of the world's most renowned beaches - this is one experience that should be on your bucket list and is only a five minute drive to another Coromandel ‘must do’ – Cathedral Cove .
Also Cooks Beach boasts some of NZ's oldest history - Capt James Cook sailed on the HMS Endeavour into Mercury Bay in 1769 and made anchor at Cooks Beach. A short distance away at Ferry Landing is one of New Zealand's oldest Maori pa sites with Kupe, the famous Tahitian explorer and his people setting foot in Whitianga in 950AD.
4. Relax and revive for your own well-being
A revelation in The Coromandel is you’ll find plenty of stops for culture and cuisine along the way. Towns and communities throughout The Coromandel all have their distinct personality, including places like Thames, Paeroa (and its famous L&P bottle) Whangamata, Waihi, Pauanui, Tairua, Whitianga and Coromandel Town.
The Coromandel boasts some great surf beaches, cruisy cafés, shops and art galleries. There are also many accommodation options - from camping grounds, rental homes to motels and hotels if you’d like to hot the re-set button, and take care of yourself for a little while.
5. Easy pace and easy planning
The Coromandel is within an hour and half drive of the major centres of Auckland, Hamilton and Rotorua, so is super accessible for Kiwis to get to.
Luckily for us it’s also easy to plan for. Everything is literally at our fingertips. You can easily book your holiday online with some great packages and deals currently available. Click here to find out more https://www.thecoromandel.com/activities/goodforyoursoul/
This article is created for Destination Coromandel