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What’s so great about Whangapoua where to go

New Chum beach, getting there is part of the joy of a bucket list destination

Whangapoua and adjacent New Chums Beach (Wainuiototo Bay) have some serious and well deserved beach pulling power for domestic and international visitors alike. New Chums Beach has been voted in the top 10 beaches to visit in the world, and Whangapoua Beach, with its ready access is a strong contender in the beautiful beach stakes.

Whangapoua and adjacent New Chums Beach (Wainuiototo Bay) have some serious and well deserved beach pulling power for domestic and international visitors alike. New Chums Beach has been voted in the top 10 beaches to visit in the world, and Whangapoua Beach, with its ready access is a strong contender in the beautiful beach stakes.

WHAT TO DO, HIGHLIGHTS

  • New Chums Beach
  • Opera Point Walk
  • Wainuiototo/New Chums Walkway

BEACHES

WHANGAPOUA BEACH

Whanagapoua Beach is a safe long sandy beach that stretches 1.5km. The northern end of Whangapoua Beach is the starting point for access to New Chums Beach. This long white sandy beach is a popular surf spot and conservation area located on the northeast coast of the island. The estuary runs through Okiwi basin to the southern end of the beach. There are incredible views of Hirakimata and Rakitu island.

Whanagapoua Beach, Coromandel, New Zealand @droneshotsnz Whanagapoua Beach @droneshotsnz
Whanagapoua Beach, Coromandel, New Zealand @benajmin3 Whanagapoua Beach @benajmin3

NEW CHUMS BEACH

GETTING THERE

The protected stretch of untouched land has no buildings, no roads, no infrastructure or camping – it is a jewel in New Zealand’s coastal crown. 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 Drive track over the saddle through spectacular nikau forest and giant pōhutukawa.

There is a public toilet and parking at William Mangakahia Lagoon Reserve.  Please remember to leave only footprints, bring out all your waste and take some water along for the walk.

New Chums Beach, New Zealand @The Coromandel
New Chums Beach @The Coromandel

The area is much treasured and staunchly protected by locals and visitors who are determined to see the beach remain as it is forever. Find out more at www.preservenewchum.org.nz

Shuttle transfers are available from Coromandel Town with Coromandel Adventures. From New Chum Beach | The Coromandel

FACTS

  • Length: 1.5km
  • Grade: Easy

Shoes recommended rocky shore and slippery stream crossing. Watch the tides for the stream crossing. Tide Times for The Coromandel | New Zealand

Opera Point Pa, c1700, known as Te Rehutae, north head of Whangapoua. Likely abandoned after seaborne raids in 1818 by Ngapuhi, from Northland. Look for regular landforms for terraces, ditches and bank defences. Opera Point is reached after a short bush walk on to the sand and Whangapoua headland. Look for nesting birds.

Craig’s Sawmill, 1862

Visible relices a concrete channel. The track passes the channel as it follows the old sawmill tramway from the car park. The sawmill cutting rights were obtained from Maori owners of Optonui valley.

Getting there

Opera Point is off State Highway 25 between Coromandel and Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula.  At Te Rerenga take the turn off to Whangapoua and proceed to the DOC car park.

Opera Point Historic Reserve: Coromandel heritage site

Opera Point Pa (Te Rehutae), Coromandel, New Zealand @codesteps
Opera Point Pa (Te Rehutae) @codesteps
New Chums Beach, Coromandel, New Zealand @hollielovesplants
New Chums Beach @hollielovesplants

BEST TIME TO GO

  • Shoulder season when the summer crowds have lessened
  • In summer remember to carry insect repellent, water, hat and sunscreen

FAME

  • New Chums Beach, access difficulty and natural beauty is a great drawcard

WHAT TO DO WITH KIDS

  • Enjoy the serenity of Whangapoua beach, equally beautiful and just a short walk from a car park and toilets

WHERE TO TAKE THE BEST SELFIE

  • New Chums Beach signage, you got there
  • Opera Point walk views

WHO TURNED UP AND NAMED THE PLACE?

Whangapoua means The bay of the poua (a shellfish).

Whangapoua’s Māori history dates back to the 13th century. A reserve at Opera Point, east of Whangapoua, contains the remains of the Raukawa pa site. Fror from 1860 the area attracted European settlers involved in the kauri and gold mining industries.

SOCIAL MEDIA

WHAT KEEPS THE PLACE TICKING?

Summer holiday visitors

POPULATION

  • Less than 200, with summer peak over 1,000. There is a general store.

JUDGMENT

  • New Zealand is home to one of the world’s beautiful beaches, make the effort and check out New Chums beach
Whangapoua, Coromandel, New Zealand @Skyviewphotography
Whangapoua, Coromandel @Skyviewphotography

TRAVEL PACK INFORMATION

Whangapoua timber mill – Hauraki–Coromandel places @Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand
@Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Whangapoua timber mill – Hauraki–Coromandel places – Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand

The sawmill at Whangapoua, which first operated in 1861, was one of the largest on the Coromandel Peninsula. At the time this photo was taken, in 1898, the mill was owned by the Kauri Timber Company, a Melbourne-based syndicate that dominated the industry from 1888.

Well-known New Zealand writer Graeme Lay documents the distinctive history of a place.

Whangapoua: Harbour of the Shellfish A History: Graeme Lay

Unique journeys, personal adventures.

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