In Town

There’s plenty to do in the historic town of Coromandel, just 2.5km away

In town you will find clothes and gift shops, a 4Square supermarket, garage, bank, fishing shop, hardware shop, three pubs, cafes and two fish and chip shops. There is also Umu and The Pepper Tree restaurants for meals out.

Most people who visit this area also make a point of stopping at Driving Creek Railway, just 3km out of town, where there is a railway and a pottery, plus a good café nearby.

It’s a narrow-gauge railway that climbs up into the bush, up to the Eyeful Tower. There are some impressive tunnels lined with bottles and the railway itself is a real feat of engineering. After the rail trip you can check out the local art and pottery for sale in the shop. Quirky but fascinating it’s $35 each but a great day out. www.drivingcreekrailway.co.nz.

Other places to visit in town include The Coromandel Goldfield Centre & Stamper Battery. A fully operational water-powered plant for processing gold from rock.

The Stamper Battery has a huge water wheel which powers the plant, which is more than 100 years old. It was the first diesel-powered gold processing plant in New Zealand and its last original stamper battery. The working machinery is still used for crushing gold ore and extracting gold. You can even try your hand at panning gold here and it’s a nice spot for a picnic.

Geologist Ashley Franklyn offers an enthusiastic tour of the plant and reveals the region’s fascinating mining and geology history.

If you are after more history there is also Coromandel School of Mines and Historical Museum which explores the impact of gold mining on the town. Housed in the historic Coromandel School of Mines building (1897) which is the old Coromandel jailhouse. Adults $5, children no charge.

If you want to go out for the day across the peninsular about a 50-minute drive is stunning Cathedral Cove at Hahei, which is a popular stopping-off point. There are also boat trips which take you there, during which you may encounter dolphins.

Also on that coast is Hot Water Beach on Mercury Bay, 12km from Whitianga, where you can dig holes in the beach and create your own spa pool.

If you want something a bit quieter we can recommend New Chum Beach, about 25 minutes away, voted one of the world’s top 10 beaches.

This protected beach has no buildings, no roads, no infrastructure or camping. From the north end of Whangapoua beach, cross the stream to begin your walk along the rocky shoreline and over the headland. The 1km long Wainuiototo Bay, or New Chum Beach, is approximately 30-40 mins walk via the Mangakahia Dr track over the saddle through spectacular nikau forest and huge Pohutukawa trees.

If you want to just find a quiet beach within a 10-minute walk for a picnic, we can also point you in the right direction!