Hotels in Coromandel Town, New Zealand
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Coromandel Town, New Zealand: artsy holidays on the coast
Attractively set on a natural harbour, historic Coromandel Town has evolved from a rough-and-tumble gold rush settlement into a laid-back holiday destination known for its thriving artistic community, beguiling walking trails, and stunning, unspoiled beaches. Getting to Coromandel Town is part of the fun; travellers can take the ferry across the glittering Hauraki Gulf from downtown Auckland, or motor along the pristine Pohutukawa Coast. Accommodations in Coromandel Township range from friendly motor inns and holiday parks to boutique hotels and traditional kiwi baches.
Walk this way…
An ideal base for a walking holiday, Coromandel Town offers easy access to both the 309 Road and the Coromandel Coastal Walkway. The 309 Road is a 22-kilometre stretch of gravel which crosses the peninsula from east to west, passing through dense bushland, serene pine forests, and farm country. The road is also open to motor vehicles, though drivers who choose not to stop and follow the footpath into the ancient Waiau Kauri Grove are missing out on a majestic Siamese Kauri and the stunning Waiau Falls, which tumble into a sparkling pool—the perfect spot for a refreshing swim. The Coromandel Coastal Walkway, 10 kilometres long, runs from Stony Bay to Fletchers Bay, both excellent destinations for travellers who prefer tents to hotel rooms. Excepting the steep section leading down to Poley Bay, the walk is an easy one, with superb views of the Pinnacles, Great Barrier Island, and Cuvier Island along the way. However, regular shuttles are available for folks who want a one-way trip.
Life’s a beach…
Virtually surrounded by pristine, sandy beaches, Coromandel Town is a great choice for sun-seekers. At low tide, travellers can walk along the sand flats from Long Bay or Shelley Beach to visit Oamaru Bay, which offers both crystal clear water and a fringe of Pohutukawa trees for a bit of shade. Just two clicks west of Coromandel, couples will find McGregors Bay, the ideal place for a romantic sunset stroll. Travellers looking for a particularly quiet, unspoiled beach with a spectacular view are likewise spoiled for choice; Kennedy Bay, Wyuna Bay, and Waitete Bay are all slightly off the most beaten paths yet within a short drive from Coromandel Town. Sightseers with their hearts set on experiencing the peninsula’s most famous natural attractions can book a day trip on the Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach Express, which offers regular departures from Coromandel Town. The popular tour is carefully scheduled around the low tide at Hot Water Beach, allowing travellers ample time to dig their own thermal spas before enjoying a relaxing soak.
Unforgettable family fun
Young (and young-at-heart) travellers will find no shortage of fun and funny attractions in Coromandel Town. Sunny days are ideal for a trip to The Waterworks; “New Zealand’s quirkiest theme park” features over 70 playful, water-powered contraptions made from recycled materials, including a human-sized hamster wheel and a wooden water clock that keeps “Coromandel time.” Another testament to the power of water, the Coromandel Goldfield Centre and Stamper Battery is well worth a tour; the 112-year-old plant, powered by the country’s largest operational water wheel, is still used for crushing gold ore and extracting gold. An excursion on the Driving Creek Railway is another must-do; New Zealand's only narrow-gauge mountain railway track winds through native Kauri forest, with intriguing sculptures and tile murals along the way. Passengers enjoy two spirals, three tunnels, several large bridges, and a narrative history of the train on their way to a fine pottery shop, wildlife sanctuary, and the “Eyefull Tower,” which offers incredible views of the Hauraki Gulf.
Fine art and fresh local flavours…
The natural beauty and relaxed, come-as-you-are lifestyle has drawn a wide range of creative artists to the Coromandel peninsula. Travellers in search of beautiful, meaningful souvenirs will find local galleries stocked with top-notch pottery, jewellery, paintings, handmade wooden furniture, and much more. It is also possible to visit many Coromandel studios, and chat with the artists at work; a helpful guide to their hours and locations is available online and at the town’s Information Centre. The Coromandel Peninsula is also well known for its accomplishments in culinary arts; once isolated from mainstream grocery or hardware supplies, early kiwi inhabitants turned to the land and each other. Today, the peninsula’s fine raft of restaurants and cafes largely depends on a tightly-knit community of local organic farms, fisheries, and artisanal producers of treats such as cheese, nuts, and honey. Coromandel Town is one of many stops along the popular Coromandel Food Trail; its award-winning Pepper Tree Restaurant and the historic Admirals Arms Hotel are among the highlights.
Price rangefrom £31to £354
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