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Travel Guide

Best Coromandel Beaches: Cathedral Cove, New Chums, Hot Water … find your perfect shoreline

  • 5 minutes

Coromandel, North Island

Coromandel and beaches are synonyms for each other. Here is a list of the firm favoruites where beaches dot the hills and locals travel from all parts of New Zealand for the summer rite of a beach holiday. Together with tips on getting around and what to do nearby.


Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach is located on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, just south of Mercury Bay.

Hot Water Beach tourist hot spot
Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach is located on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, just south of Mercury Bay.

Hot Water Beach is popular due to the thermal water that bubbles just beneath the surface of the sand at low tide. Visitors can create their private pools by digging holes in the sand.

What to do nearby includes several incredible art galleries and craft shops to visit within 1 km of the beachfront. However, swimming and surfing at Hot Water beach can be challenging due to the strong currents, rips, and holes. So be sure to take care when taking the plunge.

The shoulder seasons of spring and autumn are often the best times to visit when the weather is cooler. It is located approximately 12 kilometers southeast of Whitianga and 175 kilometers from Auckland and can be reached by road.

Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove is a beautiful, serene beach on the southern part of Mercury Bay on the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand.

Cathedral Cove is famous for its gigantic natural rock arch with a white sand floor and Te Hoho Rock visible in the water on the other side of the archway. Visitors can enjoy swimming, surfing, and picnicking at the beach.

The best time to visit is at low to mid tide when the natural rock arch is visible. To avoid the crowds, try visiting in the early morning or evening.

Cathedral Cove can only be reached via the Cathedral Cove track or by water with a boat or kayak. The Cathedral Cove walk is a lovely 2.5-kilometer (one-way) trek that runs along the coastline from Hahei Beach to Cathedral Cove.

There are no facilities along the trail to Cathedral Cove, so visitors should bring enough water and snacks for their group.

At Cathedral Cove, there are drop toilets only.

Cathedral Cove incoming tide sunset, Hahei, New Zealand
Cathedral Cove incoming tide sunset

Hahei Beach

Hahei beach is a beautiful white sand beach located on the eastern side of Mercury Bay on the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. It is located close to Cathedral Cove.

Hahei beach, near Whitianga on the Pacific coast of the Coromandel Peninsula. New Zealand. Image shot 2012. Exact date unknown.
Hahei beach

Hahei has a marine reserve, making this a popular destination for diving, snorkelling, and kayaking. There are also many interesting activities you can do like swimming, boating, and fishing. Moreover, Hahei also has a variety of exquisite restaurants and cafes, art galleries, and gift shops.

The best time of year to visit Hahei beach is during summer. It is around 11 kilometers southeast of Whitianga and 8 kilometers north of Hot Water Beach. You can reach here by road.

Toilets, lifeguards, stores, and car parking are available at Hahei Beach.

Whangamata Beach

Whangamata Beach is a long, wide beach on the southeast coast of the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. It is located a few kilometers south of Whangamata township.

Whangamata Beach is known for its beautiful surf break and estuaries. You can enjoy water-based activities, including surfing and scuba diving. It is famous for walking or running, canoeing, kayaking, and wind/kite surfing. Visitors can also take a ferry and visit Donut Island, a sunken volcano with a magnificent lagoon at its center.

Whangamata Beach is accessible by road. The optimum time to visit the beach is between December and mid-April. There is, however, much to do and see all year round.

Facilities like car parking, phone charging stations, food, and beverage kiosk, public restrooms, and shower are all available.

Teams in a Thundercat Racing event compete in Whangamata, New Zealand
Whangamata Beach @The Coromandel

New Chums Beach

New Chums Beach is a stunning, secluded beach located in the Wainuiototo Bay on the northeast coast of the Coromandel Peninsula near Whangapoua. It is one of the most beautiful and unspoiled beaches in the country.

Whangapoua, Coromandel, New Zealand, December 15 2015. New Chums Beach and Whangapoua including the bush walk to the secluded beach
New Chums Beach

With its sparkling white sand and clear azure water, it’s easy to see why this beach is so popular. Visitors to this beach often enjoy picnics while they bask in New Chum’s natural beauty. New Chums Beach is also an excellent place for swimming and sunbathing.

New Chums Beach is accessible all year round. However, it is not easy to get to as there is no road access. Visitors need to take a boat or walk for around 30 minutes on the Mangakahia Drive track. On the way, you’ll pass through the magnificent nikau forest, which is home to enormous pōhutukawa trees.

Facilities like toilets and rubbish bins are not available at the beach.

Fletcher Bay

Fletcher Bay is the perfect place to escape from city life for an evening. It is located 64 km north of Coromandel Town on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Fletcher Bay is a beautiful campsite that sits on the beachfront in an idyllic setting. The Department of Conservation administers the area, so you know that the facilities here will be top-notch and well maintained.

The beauty of the Coromandel coast has made it an ideal location for water sports lovers. Swimming, boating, fishing, and diving are just some activities that can be enjoyed. The Coromandel Walkway starts here as well. You can also find mountain biking trails that will lead you all across this beautiful island landscape.

The perfect time to visit Fletcher Bay is between October and March. That’s when the sun shines bright, and there are lots of flowers in bloom.

Fletcher Bay is remote yet accessible by road. You have an unsealed winding gravel road that leads from Colville to get there. However, a ford between Port Jackson and Fletcher Bay can be difficult to negotiate after heavy rain.

Pohutukawa trees tower over an old bunker at Fletcher Bay in the remote, secluded far north of the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand
Fletcher Bay

Matarangi Beach

If you’re looking for a breathtaking beach to relax on, Matarangi Beach is definitely worth visiting. This 4.5 km long beach is known for its white sand and stunning views. The beach is located across the harbor from Whangapoua and is 23 kilometers from Whitianga and Coromandel Town.

Evening sunset from the fishing wharf, Matarangi, Coromandel, New Zealand
Matarangi Beach

Matarangi Beach is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and walking. The harbor also has activities like boating, kite surfing, fishing, and bird-watching, which add more excitement to one’s day.

Matarangi Beach has a lot to offer and can be explored any time of the year. The beach is accessible from Kenwood Drive, which leads to the Village Green with picnic facilities and a playground. Or you can take Ocean Close for an immediate getaway.

Cooks Beach

Located south of Whitianga, Cooks Beach is a beautiful crescent-shaped white sandy beach stretching 3 kilometers. It’s surrounded by Shakespeare Cliff and offers stunning views of Mercury Bay.

Cooks Beach is a must-see for its relative safety and unmatched natural beauty. The water here doesn’t get too rough, so if you’re looking to enjoy some leisurely swimming, this spot will suit your needs perfectly. Cooks Beach is also a popular spot for weddings and other special occasions.

Moreover, the Purangi estuary at the southern end of the beach is an excellent spot for exploring the calm waters of this natural wonder. There’s also an accessible boat ramp and parking area to take your own vessel or join one during their journey.

The beach can be enjoyed all year round. However, it is less crowded during the low season (May – September) but becomes bustling with people in the summers (December – February).

Cooks Beach is about two and a half hours drive each from Auckland, Hamilton, and Tauranga.

Cooks beach at Purangi in New Zealand
Cooks beach

Opoutere Beach

Opoutere Beach is a hidden gem on the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula. It is located east of State Highway 25, north of Whangamata, and south of Pauanui.

NZ dotterel shorebird, Opoutere Beach near Rotoroa Island, New Zealand
Opoutere Beach

Opoutere Beach is a great place to relax and enjoy the sounds of nature. This serene stretch of sand features some excellent snorkelling opportunities around Hikunui Island and surfcasting activities. With several walking trails available in the area, you can explore the natural beauty at your own pace.

Opoutere Beach can be visited any time of the year. You’ll need to travel through the pine forest on a gravel road for about 15 to 20 minutes to get there.

Opito Bay Beach

Opito Bay Beach is a remote and secluded beach located east of Kuaotunu in the Coromandel Peninsula. If you are looking for a secluded beach to relax and enjoy the sound of nature, Opito Bay Beach is the place for you.

The beautiful bay of Opito is home to some significant local Ngati Hei, Maori history dating back to 1500. Opito Bay is a calm, shallow clear water beach where you can swim or surf without any worries of getting into trouble. You will have plenty of opportunities for snorkeling and waterskiing in this lovely area.

The beauty of Opito Bay Beach can be appreciated around the year. However, the best time to visit is between October and March when there’s bright sunshine with many flowers in bloom. The only route to get to the beach is through Kuaotunu Village.

You’ll find no shops in Opito Bay, so bring your own supplies. The nearby general store has a limited selection of snack foods and other essentials for the trip. You can head over to Whitianga township for more options, which is about a 35-minute drive away.

Opito beach take the weight off your feet, Coromandel, New Zealand
Opito beach

Pauanui Beach

Pauanui Beach is one of the most popular and well-known beaches in Coromandel. It stretches for 2 kilometers, from Tairua Harbour in the north to a small headland and stream mouth in the south. This lovely location Is 40 kilometers north of Whangamata, making it a perfect place to get away from the rush and bustle of city life.

View of Pauanui town from Mount Paku, Coromandel peninsula, New Zealand

Pauanui Beach is a popular spot for a number of reasons. The beach is a great place to take a leisurely walk, enjoy a romantic sunrise, or get a great photo opportunity. The gentle waves and sandy shores make the beach a perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. Pauanui is also suited for surfing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing, depending on the prevailing wind.

Pauanui Beach can be explored any time of the year. The beach is reachable by road and has plenty of parking on both ends. During the holiday season, you can also catch the Tairua-Pauanui Ferry from Royal Billy Point.

The beach is patrolled by Surf Life Saving NZ in the summer months. Swimmers are suggested to avoid the northern and southern extremities of the beach due to the presence of strong rips.

Otama Beach

Otama Beach is a perfect getaway for those looking to relax in the natural beauty of New Zealand. It is a 2 km long white sand beach located in the northern region of the Coromandel Peninsula, 20 km north of Whitianga. Otama Beach is underdeveloped, providing plenty of space guaranteeing not only solitude but also complete serenity.

The beach is a popular wedding destination because of its serene and unspoiled natural beauty. The lack of crowds adds to the perfect romantic atmosphere for a beach wedding.

Otama Beach is also a perfect destination for families looking to spend some quality time together. The water here is typically calm and crystal clear, providing the ideal opportunity to swim.

The beach can be reached by road and is ideal for a day trip. You can reach here via the Black Jack Road, which starts from State Highway 25 at Kuaotunu.

Otama Beach has no shops, so make sure you bring your supplies. There are toilets available, and they’re located on the eastern part of the beach in a local reserve.

Otama Beach, a crowded summer day, Coromandel, New Zealand
Otama Beach

Long Bay Beach (Oamura Bay Beach)

Long Bay Beach is a stunning stop on your travels around New Zealand. It is located about 3 km northwest of Coromandel Town, making it an easy place to visit. This beach is also known as Oamura Bay Beach.

@Oamaru Bay Tourist Park
@Oamaru Bay Tourist Park

The beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or simply relaxing under the shade of the stunning Pohutukawa trees. There is also a walking track that leads through native bush to nearby Long Bay Kauri Reserve, which is definitely worth a visit.

To get to Long Bay Beach, follow the signs from Coromandel Town – it’s an easy 10-minute drive. Once you arrive, there is plenty of parking available along the grassy verge. Picnic tables are also located under the trees, so why not pack a lunch and make a day of it?

As you drive towards Oamura Bay, the road passes through the tiny beach of Kikowhakarere Bay. It is a tidal flat beach where children can explore calm water at high tide, perfect for little ones’ first experience with nature.

Pokohino Bay Beach

Pokohino Bay is a hidden gem located in the Coromandel Peninsula. This secluded beach is just 5 km north of Onemana Village. The beach is tiny that even 20 people will make it crowded.

Pokohino Bay Beach is a popular spot for both locals and tourists alike. The gentle waves and clear water make it a perfect place to swim, relax, and enjoy the stunning views. Picnicking is also a popular activity at the bay, as there are plenty of shady spots to set up a blanket and enjoy a meal.

The bay is a beautiful spot for exploring the rocks and tide pools. At low tide, the rocks are exposed, and there is a sea cave that you can walk through. It’s a great place to take photos. The bay is also suitable for fishing at low tide.

Pokohino Bay Beach is best visited during the summers when the weather is warm and sunny. The beach can only be accessed on foot via a forest track. The trek is short yet steep in places. However, the effort is well worth it.

Pokohino Bay Beach is a beautiful spot for a day trip, but there are a few things to keep in mind. There are no toilets or water taps on the beach, so make sure to bring everything you need. The beach is only open during daylight hours, so head back up the road before 7 pm. The gates at the top of the road will be locked after that.

Pokohino Beach, Coromandel, New Zealand
Pokohino Beach, Coromandel

Getting to Best Coromandel Beaches


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