How to spend 2 days in the Coromandel

How to spend 2 days in the Coromandel

Posted on 07. Mar, 2011 by in Blogs

I only had two days in the Coromandel, and I wanted to fit in as much  possible. When people are giving advice on what to see when you go there’s one thing that’s constantly repeated – Cathedral Cove. Looking at the photo it’s not difficult to understand why!

I stayed at Seabreeze Holiday Park near Hot Water Beach – this was the perfect location to explore from. The hostel is quite quirky itself – the living room is full of novelty cows. This is because the hostel used to be a dairy farm, and some of the original features still remain. The main lodge is the old dairy shed! (They also give free spades which I’ll get to shortly)

First stop was Coromandel Town for lunch, and there’s plenty of places to choose from. The main street has an assortment of shops that it’s worth poking your head into, and the town has a great relaxed atmosphere with its pastel coloured fronts and old-fashioned buildings. I sat watching the world go past in a small park and a crocodile line of children snaked past with the local police officer, that kind of summed it up for me, that would never happen at home and this seems to be a small, friendly town.

Next stop is the ‘legendary’ General Store in Colville. When we went to the information centre in Coromandel Town we were told there wasn’t much to do locally but that we should go and check this out. When you arrive in Colville you can’t miss the shop, there quite literally is nothing else nearby!  I personally would avoid this if you can…I’m not sure why it was included as an ‘unmissable’ feature but in my opinion your life will be perfectly complete without this! Perhaps it’s a scam to ensure they keep in business! Yes they have an astonishing assortment of goods, but they are all over-priced due to the location and an ice-cream is never worth that much!

There are two options to take when driving between Coromandel Town and Hot Water Beach. If you take the 309 Rd then you’ll come across a sign for Waiau Falls. Have a peek, the falls aren’t very high but they are a pretty sight amidst the forest and make a nice break along the way.

Hot Water Beach is another ‘must-do’ according to everyone I’ve spoken to. This is where your spade comes in handy. An hour either side of low tide you can dig a hole in the beach, the hole fills with water and there you have your own personal hot water spa! I must confess however I did not get to do this and it’s back on my list of things to do. It wasn’t overly busy when I was in the Coromandel and I trotted down to the beach with all the best intentions of digging a hole, it was low tide and I was ready for a hot bath! However I walked up and down the beach and was unable to find this mystical area! There were a few other people doing the same – it would have been the perfect crowd-less evening however I was stumped by lack of signage! It’s firmly back on my list of things to do before leaving New Zealand!

So moving swiftly on to Day Two. My favourite day in the Coromandel – time to see Cathedral Cove. Head north of Hahei and Hot Water Beach and you’ll come across a carpark. This is where your journey begins. It’s about a 40 minute walk to Cathedral Cove, but there are some worthwhile side-tracks that shouldn’t be over-looked.

The joy you feel when you reach the final steps and are on the beach is worth it. Just don’t think about the climb back up! There’s an amazing limestone arch with a cordoned rope advising no access…I ignored the rope as did several others and went through the arch to the other side where there’s an even quieter beach, rocks to explore and a sense of tranquility to be found.

I managed to spend a good hour here, on a sunny day this would be perfect with a picnic. The walk back encouraged me to prolong this as long as possbible! This brings me to the end of Day 2.

I didn’t make it to Thames, and there are countless beaches I’m told but the weather wasn’t on my side!

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2 Responses to “How to spend 2 days in the Coromandel”

  1. Sam

    12. Sep, 2011

    Oh that’s a shame you didn’t find the hotwater! Its a lot easier if you go on a busy day when you can just spot the tightly packed crowd sitting in holes dug in the sand despite the rest of the beach being deserted! Unfortunately the downside of the busy days are all the people…

    Enjoy New Zealand!
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