The eastern coastline of the Coromandel Peninsula is famous for its choice of safe swimming and surfing beaches.
The region's best beaches, include the following…
Discover a stunning, unspoiled crescent of pristine white sand fringed by scarlet pohutukawa trees and native forest – only accessible by boat or on foot. Usually deserted for most of the year, New Chums Beach is easily reached from nearby Whangapoua Village.
After wading through the shallows at the northern end of Whangapoua Beach, follow the hillside track that leads to a saddle overlooking scenic New Chums. From there it’s an easy descent to the white-sand beach, which shelves gently into the calm turquoise waters of Wainuiototo Bay.
Kick off your walking shoes and slither your toes through the pristine white sand on a leisurely stroll along the kilometre-long beach. Pack a picnic, beach comb, sunbathe, go swimming or surf the swells in season.
There are no facilities on the beach, however its close proximity to nearby Whangapoua Village means you can usually carry what you need.
New Chums is a 30-minute walk from Whangapoua, approximately 15 kilometres north-east of Coromandel township and around 164km from Auckland (a drive of around 2 hours and 15 minutes).
Discover a picturesque pocket of white sand fringed by pohutukawa trees and separated from neighbouring Mares Leg Cove by a soaring and picturesque 10m-high cavern that is awash at high tide.
Both beaches are equally idyllic and perfect at low tide for relaxing, swimming and snorkelling the nearby rock stacks and headlands.
Scenic Cathedral Cove is part of a marine reserve that also encompasses nearby Gemstone and Stingray bays, and was used in the movie The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.
Cathedral Cove is easily reached by hiking a well-trodden trail from the northern end of Hahei Beach or by following a bush path from the car park at the end of Grange Road atop the headland separating Hahei Beach and Gemstone Bay, an easy 45-minute walk.
The headland is the site of an ancient Maori pa (fortified village). There are no facilities on Cathedral Cove beach.
Dig your own thermal spa in the sand at Hot Water Beach, a portion of white sand found along the central area of Hahei Beach.
Pick a spot an hour either side of low tide and start scooping out a sand hole; settle in and enjoy a hot natural spa as thermal saltwater bubbles up through the sand from two underground springs, a legacy of the region’s volcanic past.
The deeper you dig, the hotter the water becomes – the temperature can reach up to 64°C! The natural ebb and flow of the tide flattens the beach, making it ready for the next influx of ‘spa users’.
Alternatively, head to the eastern end of this long, pohutukawa-fringed beach to sunbathe, go kayaking, swimming, snorkelling and surfing when the swell is up.
Climb up through a grove of giant pohutukawa trees to Te Pare Historic Reserve, site of a former Maori pa (fortified village), with great views overlooking the beach and neighbouring offshore islands. Beach facilities include toilets and showers.
This wide golden-sand beach is perfect for swimming and surfing its world-class left-hand break. The offshore sea at Whangamata is famous for deep-sea fishing.
Plan to arrive at the end of April for the annual classic Whangamata Beach Hop: you’ll see a line-up of classic muscle cars and listen to some of New Zealand’s best rock and roll bands.
Facilities are available from the beachside town, home to a number of cafes, restaurants and hotels.
Discover a 3km-long crescent of fine golden sand with safe swimming.
You’ll also find lovely picnic areas along the Purangi River, providing good views across Mercury Bay to the Mercury Islands. Go swimming, sailing and diving.
The sheltered and picturesque Purangi Estuary offers several kilometres of inland waterways that are perfect for kayaking. Facilities are available from the beachside town, home to a number of cafes, restaurants and hotels.
Explore a wide, 9km-long sweep of white sand, renowned as one New Zealand’s safest surf beaches. Surf, boogie board or kite surf the waves.
Head to the beach’s southern end at Bowentown to kayak, swim and enjoy a picnic. For stunning sea views climb to the old Maori pa on the top of Bowentown heads or explore the surrounding landscape on scenic bush trails that wind over coastal headlands to secluded pohutakawa-fringed beaches and river gorges.
At low tide, dig in the sand for delicious tuatua and pipi shellfish (that require boiling to eat). Beach facilities include lifeguards, showers, toilets and picnic tables as well as a nearby shopping centre, restaurants and a range of accommodation.
Relax on this wide sweep of golden-white sand fringed by a forested reserve and framed by rocky headlands. The 5km-long beach offers good swimming, surfing and surfcasting.
Try shellfishing in the harbour for cockles and pipis, and in the surf for tuatua. Scuba dive Hikunui Island and along the southern coastline to Pokohino.
Choose from several bushwalks, including trails to the Ohui rock pools at the northern end of the beach, trails that take you into the state forest to visit the historic Phoenix goldmine and up through native bush to Maungaruawahine Pa, where you can find unusual stone ramparts and enjoy the view across the harbour to the site of the sister pa on Ruahiwihiwi Point.
Visit the neighbouring Wharekawa Wildlife Refuge to see a breeding ground for several endangered species of sea birds. See the New Zealand dotterel and variable oystercatcher from November to February during breeding season.
Latest update: Top Beaches in the Coromandel: 16 April, 2019
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