The Coromandel, New Zealanders favourite destination, is within an hours drive of the major centres of Auckland and Hamilton and their International Airports and yet the region is a world away from the hustle and bustle of those cities.
Fabulous golden and white sand beaches with magnificent coastal scenery, a rugged, forest cloaked interior waiting to be explored are just some of the natural attractions that have people returning to the Coromandel time after time.
Located just one and a half hours from Auckland International Airport the Coromandel is a world away from the urban sprawl. Its unique landscape and relaxed lifestyle make it an ideal destination for both New Zealanders and international visitors. There is plenty to do in the Coromandel and plenty to learn about.
Along with its natural beauty – misty rainforests and pristine beaches – it’s historical past is rich and colourful. Captain Cook visited the area in 1769 and observed the transit of the planet Mercury across the face of the sun hence the names of some of the region’s beaches and bays – Mercury Bay and Cook’s Beach.
In the nineteenth century the peninsula teemed with human activity associated with the exploitation of timber, gold and kauri gum. Eventually the kauri and the accessible gold were exhausted and the gum market destroyed. The Coromandel lapsed into an economic and social decline that was eventually halted by the gradual growth of farming, fishing, horticulture, and tourism. The land slowly “mended” and a new era of people moved into the area, one that valued the environment. Thirty four percent of the land on the peninsula is now administered by the Department of Conservation.
Many visitor attractions have been developed so that visitors can reflect on the region’s former days. The Coromandel’s history is captured in the many museums around the region. Guides are available to take visitors into the bush to view the remnants of the gold mining and logging era.
The Coromandel is a walker’s paradise with many coastal walkways and inland bush walks ranging from several hours to several days. Huge kauris that were saved from the loggers’ saws still remain and can easily be viewed. Many artists and craftspeople have made the Coromandel their home, inspired by the region’s idyllic setting. Visitors can follow an arts and crafts trail from one side of the peninsula to the other following the popular Pacific Coast Highway.
Other tourism operators have established themselves to take advantage of the clear waters and many kilometres of coastline and islands surrounding the Coromandel. Choose from the numerous water activities available – fishing, sailing, kayaking, snorkelling or swimming.
Take a few days to enjoy this exceptional part of New Zealand – it is too good to miss.