Top things to do in Coromandel Peninsula

Are you wondering what the best places to visit in the Coromandel Peninsula are? Don’t worry I’ve got you covered as a Kiwi and someone who has lived in New Zealand for most of her life I have spent countless summers road-tripping around the Coromandel Peninsula.

The Coromandel Peninsula is located in the North Island of New Zealand and is a popular tourist destination. It’s certainly easy to see why with beautiful beaches and quaint towns there’s no place I would rather visit.

With rugged coastlines, pristine beaches and lush forests, it’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Keep reading to discover the best places to visit in the Coromandel Peninsula this summer!

Top 5 things to do in Coromandel Peninsula

Top 5 things to do in Coromandel Peninsula

Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove is one of the Coromandel Peninsula’s most famous destinations and a must-visit when you’re in the area. You’ve probably seen photos of the iconic natural archway surrounded by gorgeous white sandy beaches and turquoise waters.

The beach at Cathedral Cove is perfect for swimming and relaxing for the day. To access Cathedral Cove you will need to go by boat. There is a walkway that takes approximately 45 minutes to complete however due to bad storms last summer this walking track is currently closed.

If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, another way to reach Cathedral Cove would be to hire a kayak and paddle around from Hahei Beach.

The best time to visit Cathedral Cove is in the shoulder season when there are fewer tourists or in the morning to avoid crowds. I have visited Cathedral Cove before in October and if you get lucky with the weather sometimes it can even be warm enough to swim!

Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach

Hot water beach is another iconic destination in the Coromandel Peninsula. This beach is pretty unique because if you visit at low tide you can dig a hole in the sand and sit in a hot pool of water, hence the name Hot Water Beach.

This is thanks to its unique geothermal activity which creates natural hot springs beneath the sand. It’s important to note that you can’t experience the hot springs at all times, you have to visit two hours before or two hours after low tide for these to be accessible.

Before you plan your journey make sure to check the local tide charts so you can figure out the best time to visit. Most people bring their own spade but if you don’t have one it is possible to rent one from the nearby shops.

Hot Water Beach is only a 10-minute drive from Hahei so it’s possible to tick off these top two attractions within one day.

Hahei Beach

Hahei Beach

Hahei Beach is easily one of my favourite places to visit in the Coromandel Peninsula, there’s something special about this small beach town that leaves you wanting to return again and again.

This gorgeous spot is renowned for its natural beauty, not only is the beach pristine but you’re surrounded by picturesque coastal landscapes. If you happen to visit on a calm sunny day, the water is amazingly clear and perfect for a dip.

There are a few local cafes and restaurants in the area which makes it a great spot to grab a bite to eat after a busy day of exploring. Hahei Beach Cafe is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.


Whangamata is your typical New Zealand beach town, it has everything you need for the ultimate summer getaway. Known for its friendly and laid-back atmosphere, it’s got that community warmth and coastal charm plus the beach is incredible too!

Compared to the other destinations on this list, here is where you’ll find the most options for cafes, restaurants and accommodation. In the summer months, it’s not unusual for this town to host various festivals and events so keep an eye out for what’s happening during your visit.

Aside from the incredible beach, Whangamata is renowned for its surf break so if you’re up for it why not rent a board and catch some waves?

New Chums Beach

New Chums Beach

New Chums Beach is a real hidden gem, only accessible by foot or boat means it’s tucked away from the crowds. Think secluded paradise and one of the most beautiful beaches you’ve ever laid eyes on – no exaggeration here, New Chums is actually rated as one of the top 10 beaches in the world!
You’ll start the walk from Whangapoua Beach and it takes about half an hour. The walk to the beach is pretty manageable, it is a good idea to have a decent pair of walking shoes with you because the ground can be a bit unstable at times. You will need to cross a stream to access the start of the walkway so you’ll want to do the walk two hours on either side of low tide.
Don’t forget to bring your camera and of course a bathing suit, you won’t be able to resist taking a swim in the calm and inviting waters – trust me!

New Chums Beach

Where to stay in the Coromandel Peninsula

For those seeking coastal vibes and vibrant communities, the slightly larger beach towns like Hahei and Whitianga offer a wider range of accommodation options, from cosy beachside cottages to boutique lodges with panoramic views.

If you’d rather be a bit closer to nature, why not pick from one of the many camping options in the Coromandel Peninsula? Whether you decide on a cosy cabin or really strip it back and book an unpowered campsite, you can’t really go wrong.

Camping is my favourite way to explore the Coromandel Peninsula. I love Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park, it’s an affordable option with great facilities and an awesome location.

How to get around the Coromandel Peninsula

Public transport in the Coromandel Peninsula is a bit limited so I would highly recommend hiring a car in order to have the flexibility to discover those hidden gems. Buses will usually only take you to the larger towns within the Coromandel Peninsula which makes it tricky to get to smaller and more remote destinations.

If you’re coming from overseas, you’ll likely land in Auckland so you can hire a car from here and then drive to the Coromandel Peninsula. The journey takes about 2 – 3 hours depending on where in the peninsula you’re travelling to.

It’s good to know that the roads can be pretty windy once you leave the main highway. Take it slow and allow extra time in your journey so you don’t feel rushed.

Conclusion: 5 Best Places to Visit in the Coromandel Peninsula

Conclusion: 5 Best Places to Visit in the Coromandel Peninsula

I hope by now I’ve convinced you to visit the Coromandel Peninsula. It really is an incredible destination in New Zealand, I would spend every weekend over summer here if I could!
Experience the region for yourself and don’t miss visiting popular destinations like Cathedral Cove, Hahei Beach and New Chums Beach. Remember if you’re worried about the crowds, try to travel in the shoulder season but in New Zealand we are pretty lucky that our version of “crowds” is a little bit different to everyone else’s…
So why not pack your bags and discover the magic of the Coromandel Peninsula today!

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Guest Bio:

Sammy Green is the owner and creator of My Blonde Bucket List, a blog that helps travellers plan trips to New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Portugal and beyond. Having travelled to 20 countries (and counting) her goal is to inspire you to experience all the world has to offer.

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