On The QT

Coromandel Peninsula

Blogger: Marie Barry

Coromandel is a peninsula situated east of Auckland in the North Island, New Zealand.  In order to explore it properly we took two days to drive around it, staying overnight in Coromandal Town itself.  It’s a beautiful part of New Zealand to visit, and is best known for costal mountain views, hidden waterfalls, and pretty beaches.  We also found that everywhere we went, the residents had very creative post boxes, each one more intriguing than then next, and we made a habit of stopping to admire some of the more inventive ones as we drove along.

We began our peninsula trip by driving up the west coast.  We visited a town called Thames and had a stroll around in search of lunch.  We popped into a lovely place called Café Melbourne and got a superfood soup, with chicken, lentils and quinoa, which came with a two slices of toasted ciabatta bread on the side.  Content with our lovely lunch, we took a walk down the alleyway in which the restaurant opened out to at the back.  The little indoor street had about six little artisan food stores, selling cheeses, local meats and the like.  Our favourite however, was a little spice shop, which we smelt as we made our way down towards it, and inside was a collection of all different types of spices, raw and ground, in different forms and containers. Immediately we felt like cooking and experimenting with different flavours.

Back on the road we headed further up the coast, where we passed beautiful mountain and coastal scenery along the way.  In Coromandel Town, we stayed in a lovely hostel on the outskirts of town called The Lions Den.  The lovely Abbie  lit the stove for us as it was raining outside and we settled in to the cosy mismatched chairs with tea and chocolate.

We woke the following morning, after peacefully sleeping through the storm, and headed for Hot Water Beach.  Our drive out of town was dusky and misty which created an air of magic and mystery as we took the road less travelled from Coromandel to Whitianga.  Lemon groves, tropical foliage, and enclosures keeping pigs or chickens were some of the things we spotted as we traveled the quiet roads, along with some very cool postboxes! Here are our top 5:

1:  The Lego postbox
2:  The painted cow
3:  The happy boy
4:  The bright barrel
5:  The busy bee

We stopped off at Waimo Falls, a secluded waterfall just a two minute walk from the main road.  Then we made our way through a town called Whitianga and on to Hot Water Beach, where you can dig a hole anywhere in the sand and warm water will emerge.  Here we admired the beach, and watched some surfers tackle the choppy waves.

Just opposite the beach was a fantastic hidden gem.  It was called Moko Artspace and it was filled with the work of over 150 artists, from jewellery to furniture, and from ornaments to decorative wall pieces.  Everything was clearly made with care, and by very creative and passionate artists.  There was also a pre-loved clothing basket, from which we pulled out all the clothes and tried them on.  In the end we picked out a check shirt, and a long sleeve top with a print to take with us.

Delighted with our preloved clothing haul, we headed on to Tairua which was the last town before heading inland.  All in all we loved our Coromandal Peninsula trip and decided it was a fantastic start to our New Zealand adventure.

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