A pleasant one and a half hour drive south east of Auckland takes you to the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula. Boasting some of New Zealand's most picturesque beaches, native Pohutukawa trees and rainforest, the Coromandel is a feast for the eyes.
The Coromandel's main attraction is its beauty and variety. Dense rainforest, endless bush walks, secluded beaches of white sand, coves and harbours all combine to make this a highly desirable destination. Thames, known as the ‘Gateway to the Coromandel’ in the southwest, is the main regional centre and has a long history of gold and silver mining. The Thames coastline is lined with many native Pohutakawa trees.
In the northeast, Mercury Bay offers a spectacular coast flanked by islands. Whitianga, the area's main settlement, offers excellent fishing, beach/bushwalks, countless coves and beaches. Two well-known beaches, Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach are an absolute must-see. Hot Water beach is named after the thermal springs which bubble up through the sand making it possible to dig your own spa pool.