Ah, the Coromandel—summer kind of wonderful! Sun, sand, surf and sweet summer sounds; what more could a kiwi kid need? Take advantage of the numerous activities in the area while you’re in Whitianga for Coro Gold.
This 1.5 hour walk is popular over the summer; the loop track takes you through a puriri grove down to the beautiful Gemstone Bay where there’s a chilled, summer, ‘I’m right where I’m supposed to be’ mood. You can relax just turning pages, lie back, frolic around, explore the caves, and snack from a picnic lunch. Ain’t it good to be alive!
If you’re after a messy beach waves hairstyle, spending time here is the place to get one. There are some primo snorkelling opportunities in Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve, especially at Gemstone Bay and on the western side of Mahurangi Island. A snorkel trail with buoys indicate what kind of marine life you’ll find below, and you’ll see plenty—from the tail of the fish, to the top! You can also hire sea kayaks, and go diving! Leave your hair to dry naturally afterwards for salty summer curls.
Hot water beach
Hot Water Beach is a few kilometres south of Hahei. For two hours either side of low tide you can dig into the sand, tap into the hot springs and lie back in bliss in your own handmade spa pool. When you think ‘cool me, cool me, cool me down’ then take a refreshing dip with Ko Tangaroa he Atua o te moana. Staying in the shallows is best, as there can be dangerous undercurrents.
Take a walk back in time and visit the Historic Whitianga Rock which holds remains of an impressive pa. A well fortified Ngati Hei stronghold; rock bluffs and water provided natural defences. Although long burnt and abandoned when Captain James Cook arrived in 1769, he was well impressed and said that the best engineer in Europe could not have choose’d a better place to defend from. Leave all adversity behind and walk up to the top of the headland for spectacular views of Mercury Bay and Whitianga. If you’re there before the tide rolls in, then check out the remains of a stone structure at Back Beach.
For more information on activities to include in your New Years holiday, check out the Parks and Recreation section on the DOC website. Have fun!