Things to do at the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

Things to do at the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

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.

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.

- Hahei and Cathedral Cove, visit the Te Whanganui-A-Hei marine reserve

- Thames and the nearby Kauaeranga Valley are rich in history and tourist attractions and make a great place to start any trip to the Coromandel Peninsula.

- Coromandel is a nice coastal village with many craft shops and interesting tourist attractions.

- Hot Water Beach is a beach with two hot springs emerging under the sands, meaning visitors can dig their own hot pool. A popular and busy tourist destination, visitors are advised to arrive an hour or two before low tide, when the springs emerge from the receding tide. Hot Water Beach is signposted from the road south of Whitianga.

- Thames Coast, the winding coastal road from Thames north towards Coromandel is worthly of special mention also. In December the beautiful pohutakawa trees flower, and is a site to behold. This tree is affectionately known as the New Zealand Christmas tree, and several festival events in December celebrate the time.

- Driving Creek Railway is a tourist attraction close to Coromandel Town which began life as a back yard project for sculptor Barry Brickell, who initially created his narrow gauge railway to help extract sculpting clay from deposits on his land. Over the years it has grown into an elaborate mountain railway with spirals, tunnels, viaducts, reversing points, and a summit station called the "Eyefull Tower" with views above the forest canopy across the Coromandel. The one hour return trip is priced at NZ$20.

- Mercury Bay Art Escape Free self drive art tour of open art studios around Mercury Bay held annually over 2 long weekends in Feb /Mar. See the best in Coromandel arts & meet the artists. Art for sale, music & associated art events. Studio hours 10am-4pm

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