It’s a hard task to single out just a few attractions of the Coromandel Peninsula. This area of the New Zealand (in the central north of North Island) is blessed with so much beauty. Come with me on a wee tour of the attractions of the Coromandel Peninsula and see if you agree with me.
Table of contents:
- 1. Cathedral Cove
- 2. Sleeping God Canyon
- 3. Miranda Foreshore
- 4. The Pinnacles
- 5. Rapaura Water Gardens
- 6. Omemana Beach
- 7. Coromandel Coastal Walkway
1 Cathedral Cove
This stunning beach always appears on lists of the best attractions of the Coromandel Peninsula but I have no qualms including it in mine because it thoroughly deserves the attention. Called Te Whanganui-A-Hei in the native language, the beach has plenty of features that beach bums and photographers especially will love. There’s a large natural archway and a huge pumice rock pinnacle known as Te Hoho. The sandy beach is lined by pohutukawa trees and the water is crystal clear. If that’s not enough, the beach sits in the Cathedral Cove Marine Reserve with plenty of reef systems and sponge gardens teeming with marine life.
2 Sleeping God Canyon
It is just as beautiful inland as it is on the coast of the Coromandel Peninsula. New Zealand’s wealth of natural attractions has earned it the crown of Adventure Capital of the World. For nature purists it often means that viewing opportunities are best either by doing something that involves climbing, flying, trekking or whatever, or waiting until the adventurers have finished for the day. Such is the case with Sleeping God Canyon in the Kauaeranga Valley. When it’s clear of people abseiling, canyoning, water sliding and ziplining, you can enjoy a series of beautiful waterfalls and stunning views.
3 Miranda Foreshore
If you like your natural attractions with a large dose of wildlife – especially birds - you’ll love the Miranda Foreshore. Shell banks have built up along the foreshore and they provide not only ideal nesting grounds but great viewing spots too. The foreshore is visited by thousands of different birds all through the year from all over New Zealand and from as far away as the Arctic Circle. There’s a visitor center for anyone who wants to learn about the birds and their amazing migratory patterns. After some hours of bird watching, pop along to the Miranda Hot Springs for a dip
4 The Pinnacles
The Pinnacles Trail is a country track that was built by Kauri bushmen between the 1870s and 1920s. It winds through the rugged, steep countryside of the lush, green Coromandel Forest Park to the Pinnacles Hut. You can follow in the footsteps of the bushmen, gold miners, gum diggers and loggers till you get to the Department of Conservation’s hut, where you can survey the breathtaking views of the Kauaeranga Valley, both coasts of the Coromandel Peninsula, the Hauraki Gulf and Plains, and the Bay of Plenty.
5 Rapaura Water Gardens
Sometimes man’s hand does a good job in harnessing nature so we can enjoy it more easily, but without having a negative impact on the surrounding environment. Classified as one New Zealand’s “Gardens of Significance”, the 64 acres of private estate sits in an exalted position in the heart of the Coromandel Forest Park. Its central attraction is the “Seven Stairs to Heaven” waterfall , but the gardens are full of native ferns and trees, exotic plants and birds, huge lily ponds, bridges over streams and sculptures by an award-winning artist.
6 Omemana Beach
I like my beaches kinda’ wild, and as much as I’m taken with some of the large sweeping beaches, one of the places to visit on the Coromandel Peninsula that’s on my lust list is Omemana Beach. This beach is blessed with fabulous outlooks from all angles. The beach itself is a riot of color, with a crescent of golden sands backed by a sweep of pohutukawa trees which bloom bright crimson in November. The water goes through all shades of green and blue and there are randomly strewn rocks on the beach and brilliant views from the foreshore of the numerous offshore islands. A large rocky area is ideal for snorkeling, there’s a waterfall and a freshwater stream as a well as a small area where native sea birds breed.
7 Coromandel Coastal Walkway
The Upper Coromandel Peninsula is remote, tranquil, awesomely beautiful and the ideal place to commune with nature and your soul. The walkway takes you past shimmering bays, quiet, isolated beaches, through pristine bushland, and over farmland, discovering jewels of nature as you go. Mount Moehau watches over you as you make your way from Fletchers Bay to Stony Bay – or in the other direction. The trail in one direction takes 3-4 hours and it’s time more than well spent.
There are charming towns dotted around the peninsula as well as camp sites, so you won’t lack for places to stay. There are heritage attractions and historical trails as well as the natural attractions of the Coromandel Peninsula. I don’t think I would ever get bored here. What about you? Does it sound like your kind of place?
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