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Should I go to the Coromandel?

UK
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Should I go to the Coromandel?

Hi,

I originally planned to go to the Coromandel from Auckland to see Cathedral Cove and Hot Water beach (tide permitting) but am now thinking it if would be better to see the sights closer to Auckland instead. Would I regret not going to the Coromandel? With an early start, we should arrive at the Coromandel by mid morning. We will then stay overnight at Whitianga. Will this give us a enough time or will it be better to stay in Auckland? I understand Cathedral Cove is very picturesque with a nice walk and a good beach.

Thanks

Nelson, New Zealand
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1. Re: Should I go to the Coromandel?

Hi,

I am not sure of the time of year that you are visiting, but the Coromandel is a beautiful area and worth the drive if you have the time. There are great hikes in the area in addition to Cathedral Cove, a visit to Hot Water Beach (best visited 1-2 hours either side of low tide). If you are a keen snorkeler, there is a marine reserve at Cathedral Cove which has a snorkel trail that you can follow.

Hahei is a wonderful spot and a good base. It has some good, moderate accommodation (The Church or Hahei Holiday Resort) . You could easily spend two or three nights there.

Blenheim, New...
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2. Re: Should I go to the Coromandel?

Where else are you planning to visit in New Zealand?

The Bay of Islands, Marlborough Sounds, Parts of Golden bay, and Banks Peninsula all offer comparable scenery.

Cathedral Cove is nice enough, but I personally feel its a bit over hyped. Hot Water Beach is fairly boring at high tide, and depending on the time of year it can be crowded at low tide. I actually feel the northern coastline of Coromandel is more picturesque then the more famous southern coastline.

Christchurch, New...
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3. Re: Should I go to the Coromandel?

Have you checked the tides for the day you will visit Hot Water Beach?

UK
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4. Re: Should I go to the Coromandel?

Thanks for your replies. We'll be in NZ in February which hopefully should give us some nice weather. The only other coastal areas that we'll be visiting is Kaikoura and Greymouth so not sure how they would compare to Cathedral Cove. Hot Water beach would be a nice to visit but I don't think we'll be too bothered if the tide times don't work in our favour. If it offers some really nice scenery compared to an extra day in the Auckland vicinity then we'll go. I guess that would be the deciding factor for us. Just want to gauge from people who know the area if it would be a good idea despite us only being able to spend a day there.

Blenheim, New...
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5. Re: Should I go to the Coromandel?

Yeah, it could be worth a visit. The beaches around Greymouth and Kaikoura are much rougher and more wild.

I really like the drive out to Port Jackson. Lots of nice coastal views with ancient pōhutukawa trees arching across the road. The last section of the road is gravel.

The other option is to take the ferry over to one of the islands off Auckland.

Edited: 04 July 2014, 07:57
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6. Re: Should I go to the Coromandel?

Don't waste your time in greymouth.... Greymouth=boring!!

Edited: 04 July 2014, 21:55
UK
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7. Re: Should I go to the Coromandel?

Thanks for getting back to me, Thmswalsh. That was the toss up for me - whether to see one of the islands off Auckland or drive out to the Coromandel. I've been looking at some pictures of the Coromandel and I think maybe we'll see some nicer scenery around that area. tenooodays, we're just using Greymouth as a base and exploring the surrounding areas before heading south. I think I've read other people say more or less the same thing about Greymouth as you have.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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8. Re: Should I go to the Coromandel?

Hi Lad,

You will enjoy some lovely scenery along eastern Coromandel, but you will also experience something similar, and yet different by driving to the Matakana coast (short drive north of Auckland city) and exploring that area instead.

Some sightseeing options include driving into the regional park on Tawharanui peninsula, a boat ride to historic Kawau Island, Omaha beach, snorkelling at Goat Island marine reserve or just do the glass bottom boat-trip. Matakana produces some wonderful regional wines, and it has a good range of accommodation including luxury lodges/B&Bs.

Do a loop tour taking in one coastline, for example the north-western motorway, with a stop at Muriwai beach. Continue to Wellsford and on to Goat Island - Leigh - Matakana - SnellsBeach. Or vice versa the following day.

Closer to Auckland, the Hauraki Gulf islands are all interesting. Besides Waiheke Island (island of wines), you can do day-trip to several others by ferry from the downtown harbour area on Quay St, CBD. Waiheke also has a vehicular ferry that departs mainly from Half Moon Bay marina in Pakuranga suburb, with a couple of sailings from the Wynyard Quarter to Waiheke in addition. Sealink operates the vehicular ferries to Waiheke. The far end of the island is more rural (farms, vineyards and native bush). Excellent views towards Coromandel from the less developed areas.

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9. Re: Should I go to the Coromandel?

Hi Frangipani08, thanks for your detailed alternative to the Coromandel. I've been looking at some of the places that you've mentioned near Auckland and it's good that you can add more flesh to what I've been reading ;-) At the moment, I think Cathedral Cove area is looking like a plausible good day trip from Auckland without a lot of time wasted in travelling there and also actually having a decent amount of time to have a look around once there. This was my main concern that too much time could be wasted getting there.

10. Re: Should I go to the Coromandel?

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