New Zealand

Explore the Eastern side of the Coromandel

The Coromandel, a peninsula in New Zealand, is very diverse: you can find here beautiful beaches, green farmlands, but also high mountains and forests. The Coromandel has it all! However, much travellers still miss the Coromandel when travelling through New Zealand, because they haven’t heard of the peninsula or because they don’t have much time. When travellers go to the Coromandel, it’s most of the time for visiting Hot Water Beach or Cathedral Cove. Although these are beautiful places, the diverse peninsula of New Zealand has much more to offer.

A while ago, I wrote about my favourite part of the Coromandel: the Northern side. Another area I’ve visited, is the Eastern side of the peninsula. Here you can find, among other beautiful places, Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove. In this article I’ll tell you all about the places you should visit and the activities you should do when travelling to this area of the Coromandel.

Otama Beach

Otama Beach may be one of the most beautiful beaches of the Coromandel! This beach has a fine, peach colored sand which has a quite remoted location. That’s also the reason why this beach can be very peaceful and quiet.You can make a short “coastal walkway” of 30 minutes, starting on the beach. You walk into the grass on the right side of the beach and upwards on a cliff. During the hike, you come along some magnificent views.

Opito Bay

Located close to Otama Beach, around a 10-minutes’ drive, you can find Opito Bay. Is the perfect picknick spot, as there are tables all around the beach. It gives you a relaxing afternoon where you can enjoy some drinks and food. With beautiful weather, you can have a swim in the sea; it’s a beautiful beach as well.

Hot Water Beach

One of the highlights of the Coromandel is Hot Water Beach: a beach where you can dig your own hot-pool. Because of hot water sources under the sand, warm water will float upwards when you dig a hole in the sand. Keep into account that this often only possible is during two hours before or after low tide. You don’t need to bring your own shovel, as you can rent one on the beach. One tip: it can be very crowded at Hot Water Beach, especially in the months November until March, so try to avoid those crowds and go early or late on the day. Besides, Hotties Beachfront Eatery is a nice place to have lunch.

Cathedral Cove

A trip to the Coromandel isn’t complete without having visited Cathedral Cove, as this is one of the images of New Zealand: you can find photos of Cathedral Cove all over the internet! From Hahei you can hike the Cathedral Cove Walk, which has a length of 2,5 kilometers and takes around 45 minutes. This hike ends up at a beautiful beach with cliffs and, of course, the well-known Cathedral Cove. Take into account that it can be very crowded here during the summer (around November until March).

Another fun way to explore Cathedral Cove, is by boat. From Hahei you can take a boat trip around the beaches, but also around big rocks and into caves. You come across several, unknown little islands and see Cathedral Cove from the water, which is a great way when it’s too busy at Cathedral Cove itself. Not only you’ll get to see amazing nature, but there is also a chance you’ll see some wildlife! During the boat trip I was on, we spotted some seals, which was a really nice experience. You can book a boat trip through Hahei Explorer.


Whitianga is the perfect place to stay when exploring more of the Eastern side of the Coromandel. It’s a larger town where you can find several shops and restaurants. The accommodation possibilities in and around Whitianga are quite extensive: from motels to B&B’s and from lodges to holiday homes.  

Would you like to read more about the Coromandel and New Zealand? You can find all our articles about this destination by clicking here.

Author: Tamara

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