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Opito Bay

Coromandel, North Island

Opito Bay is remote and not busy. The shallow clear water invites you to take a swim. The beach is accessible via Kuaotunu on a gravel winding road. The sandy beach is shaded by mature pohutukawa trees. There is a track (over 200 uneven steps) to a historic pa site where terraces and pits are evident in the land contours. Crayfish Bay is accessible via a short side track that crosses private farmland. Kids will enjoy the low tide rock pools at the edges of the bay. Kuaotunu is approximately 20 minutes drive from Opito Beach

Walking tracks Coromandel describe access

The only way to get to Opito Bay is via the Kuaotunu Village, following Black Jack Rd, through Otama Beach (which is a stopover all of its own) continuing along the gravel road another 20 minutes to get to Opito Bay. At the northern end of the beach you can see Skippers Ridge – along with nearby Sarah’s Gully – both sites of archaeological excavations in the late 1950s, which first found evidence of early Polynesian settlement in the North Island. Another significant historical site is the pa at the southern end of the beach. To take in the full experience, park at the northern end of the beach at the Skippers Rd reserve, making your way along the beach to the southern end where there is another public reserve and toilet. Just past the reserve continue along the beach to ascend the 196 steps up to the pa site where you get sensational views across Mercury Bay. You can carry on back down to the beach and around to Crayfish Bay, a small horseshoe-shaped bay. The walk is approximately three hours without stops and features regularly in the ECHO Walking Festival, which is held in April every year.

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