Known in Māori as e Tara-O-Te-Ika-A-Māui, the Coromandel Peninsula extends between the Bay of Plenty and the Hauraki Gulf on New Zealand’s North Island. It was once renowned for its gold mining and kauri forestry industries but is now an outdoor lover’s playground on the doorstep of Auckland.
Things to do in Coromandel Peninsula
With its natural hot springs, mountainous hiking trails and dramatic coastlines, the Coromandel Peninsula is a deservedly popular holiday destination.
Explore Cathedral Cove. Stretch your legs on the clifftop walking trail that connects Hahei Beach to Cathedral Cove, which is named after the arched cavern that has been eroded into its white-rock headland. You can relax on one of the two beautiful beaches that the cavern separates while enjoying views toward the offshore pinnacle known as “Te Hoho”. Cathedral Cove can also be explored by kayak or boat.
Hike the spectacular Kauaeranga Kauri Trail. Offering magnificent views of the Coromandel Peninsula, this popular overnight walk hugs the forested spine of the Pinnacles mountain range along the route of a historic Kauri loggers’ trail. After spending the night at Pinnacles Hut, wake early to watch the sunrise from the top of the mountains while enjoying 360-degree panoramas of the Bay of Plenty and all the way to Auckland on a clear day.
Ride the Driving Creek Railway. On the outskirts of Coromandel Town is the Driving Creek Railway, a narrow gauge railway that leads to a mountainous viewing platform. It was originally built in the 1970s by local potter Barry Bricknell as a means of transporting clay and wood to his kiln and is dotted with sculptural artworks. The route zigzags up the hillside to the “Eyefull Tower”, from where you can enjoy sweeping views of the island-dotted Hauraki Gulf.
Getting around Coromandel Peninsula
The Coromandel Peninsula is around two hours’ drive from Auckland and Auckland Airport, which has flights to destinations across the globe. Buses connect to towns and villages along the peninsula’s coastline, although renting a car will give you greater freedom to explore the area.