Speaking of my favorite places in New Zealand… I fell absolutely head over heels for the Coromandel.
This gorgeous place on the eastern coast of the North Island is truly not to be missed!
James and I took a road trip and stopped in the Coromandel for a few days, staying in Hahei – a good central location to explore the region.
Every corner of the Coromandel offers up a breathtaking view.
There are so many things to see and do as well – from hiking to snorkeling to eating ridiculously good fresh seafood.
While on the beach in Hahei, James and I came across a rope swing, which offered a good hour of free entertainment.
In fact I pretty much had to pry James off of it. In this post I’ve included a couple pictures from his joyous discovery.
The beaches truly are some of the best I’ve ever seen. The volcanic New Zealand coast offers up exotic rock formations in the form of islands, which can be seen while lounging on soft sand, staring out at brilliant turquoise waters and bright blue skies.
As a girl from California, it struck me how serene the area was, considering how stunning!
I’m so used to crowded beaches – I feel so spoiled to enjoy such awesome nearly entirely private destinations.
Like most visitors, one of the highlights of our time in the Coromandel was our hike to Cathedral Cove.
The one-hour walk (each way) offered a massive pay off with one of the most mind-bogglingly beautiful views. It was hard to even believe my eyes.
The cove’s marine reserves covers 9 square kilometers and can be enjoyed by kayak – something we tried to do but had to omit from our itinerary due to rain.
We did rent some snorkeling gear from the local snorkel hire shop… and then spent a rather chilly 15 minutes trying to navigate the murky water, which was caused by the former day’s poor weather.
Heads up! Parking at the entrance to the hike is quite congested, so many people have to park at the bottom of the hill and take a shuttle up to the top. We were able to squeeze in to a spot with the help of parking attendant who charged us extra.
I would love to HIGHLY recommend the place where we stayed – The Church Accommodation.
According to their website, “The Church building was originally the Methodist Church from Taumaranui in the Central North Island, built in 1916”.
We stayed in a beautiful studio unit with abundant natural light, but they also offer separate cottages as well.
Unfortunately, I don’t have great pictures of the adorable cottage we stayed in because I was so distracted by the beauty surrounding us!
But even if you don’t stay at The Church, you absolutely HAVE TO go for dinner at their restaurant!!!
I usually find most hotel restaurants less than impressive – however that is absolutely NOT the case here. It is so so so good!! One of the best meals I’ve had in a LONG time.
We had the Patatas Bravas tapas, the Lamb Kifta meatballs, and the evening’s special – a delicious serving of mussels in a butter white wine broth.
The restaurant’s atmosphere is great, the food is amazing… just go. Seriously!