It’s that time of year again… I’m in New Zealand, baby! Oh, how lucky I am to have a Dad that lives in such a beautiful country. Unfortunately, I have university exams and coursework deadlines in January, so I’ve brought all my revision across the ocean with me. Then again, am I going to remember memorising Russian vocabulary and writing politics essays? Or am I going to remember the epic days I spent with my loved ones in a kick-ass country? 😉 Exams can wait… adventure can’t. This time we are road tripping around the North Island and our first stop is Coromandel!
Where is Coromandel?
The Coromandel is just a 3 hour drive from Auckland along the Pohutukawa coastline. It’s one of my favourite locations in New Zealand – somewhere that I could really imagine myself living one day – and is also home to some of the most popular tourist hotspots (like Cathedral Cove and the hot water beach). Coromandel town is so quaint and ‘old-skool’. It feels as if you’ve stepped into a time machine because the buildings are so eccentric. I think the Coromandel is good for the soul – you’re in the middle of nature, living the simple life with an abundance of beaches and rainforests right on your doorstep.
Where did we stay?
We rented rooms at an amazing B&B in Coromandel called ‘Buffalo Lodge’. It’s located high up in the hills and has spectacular views of the surrounding area. The owner, Evelyn, is also one of the kindest, most accommodating hosts I’ve ever met. Would highly recommend this place to families looking for somewhere with a personalised touch.
What did we do?
Cathedral Cove – One of the most iconic spots in North Island and a popular beach amongst backpackers – Cathedral Cove offers photo opportunity after photo opportunity! It involves quite a long trek down to the beach (you can get a boat there if you don’t fancy the walk) but it’s definitely worth the effort. It can get really busy during the afternoons on hot days so try and go in the early morning for a more relaxed atmosphere. Also, make sure to check the tide patterns because the cave can sometimes be filled with water during high tide – not ideal.
Hot Water Beach – Another backpacker hotspot, a beach that lies on top of volcanic springs. Take your shovel and start digging to create your own mini hot bath. It’s quite surreal when you realise just how warm the water is but it’s such a social activity – you’re bound to meet a ton of people. I’d recommend taking a picnic or some drinks and spending a whole afternoon there!
Steam Railway – You can take a train journey along the hilltops of Coromandel. The views of the peninsula are pretty spectacular and it’s certainly a family-friendly activity. If you have some spare time, why not give this a go?
Hahei Beach – Officially my favourite beach in the whole of New Zealand, this is pure paradise! White sands and clear blue waters make for some of the most perfect sunbathing scenes you’ll ever witness. There’s a rope swing and a few islands that you can swim to. Boat trips run hourly too, if you fancy getting out on the water.
Hikes and trails – Sometimes they would lead to waterfalls, sometimes beaches and sometimes incredible viewpoints. There are tons of hikes and trails for all abilities (the difficulty levels are clearly marked on the signs at the beginning). Hiking in New Zealand never gets boring because the nature and landscapes are second-to-none. Seriously, if you’re an active person then this is one of the best places in the world for you.
Every single day I spend in this country, I fall more and more in love. There are a limitless amount of adventures to be had and beauty lies around every corner. The Coromandel has captured my heart and the memories that my family and I have made here will stay with us for life, no doubt. My heart is filled with so much gratitude right now – I can’t wait to see what our next road trip destination has in store…