LOCATION

Whitianga & Mercury Bay

The Mercury Bay area of the Coromandel Peninsula is an area of stunning beaches and bays. Azure blue waters roll onto clean white sands, while bush clad hills shelter the bays and further enhance the scenic splendour of the area. Mercury Bay is a very popular holiday destination and during the summer months the population swells considerably. For the rest of the year a relaxed, away from it all, atmosphere prevails. Whitianga is the main settlement of Mercury Bay, an attractive township with a deepwater harbour. The wharf in the center of town is the departure point for fishing enthusiasts, charter boats and scenic cruising.

Whitianga - copyright Dreamland Design

There are many fabulous beaches, walking tracks and great scenery to take in. Further south is Coromandel’s first Marine Reserve, officially designated in early 1993. It is easily accessed from Hahei Beach and Cathedral Cove. It incorporates the offshore area from Cooks Bluff and Motukorure Island to Hahei and Mahurangi Island.

Marine reserves are set aside for the regeneration of the marine environment and this particular area was chosen for the quality, complexity and diversity of its habitats. ‘ The reserve is named Te Whanganui-A-Hei after a Maori Chief who arrived on the Te Arawa waka (canoe) at the time of the Polynesian migration to New Zealand in the 1300s. Taking of fish and shell fish in the reserve is prohibited.

An enjoyable excursion for young and old is the ferry crossing across the river to Ferry Landing. Passengers alight at the oldest stone wharf in Australasia. A short walk up the hill from the ferry leads to Front Beach then on to Flaxmill Bay. You can hire a scooter and explore further to Cooks Beach and beyond.

Watch the Coromandel Video…

Shakespeare Cliff and Lonely Bay - photo copyright Dreamland Design

Lonely Bay and Cooks Beach

Cathedral Cove - copyright by Dreamalnd Design

Cathedral Cove coastline

New Chums - photo copyright Dreamland Design

New Chums Beach

South again is wonderful Hot Water Beach, so named because of the hot springs that surface on the sand two hours either side of low tide. You can take a spade & dig your own hot pool.

A short distance north of Whitianga is Wharekaho Beach where there is a fine stand of Pohutukawa trees. One of these is a gnarled old specimen that exactly fits a description in the journal of explorer Captain Cook written in 1769. A further 18km north over a scenic winding sealed road is Kuaotunu, gateway to the pristine beaches of Otama and Opito. These beaches are worth the journey but are accessed only by travelling over a steep, winding, narrow, unsealed road.

As you travel towards Coromandel you may visit the white, sandy beaches of Matarangi and Whangapoua. The warm climate and rich soils of the Coromandel promote lush growth and this is shown in the native bush that covers much of the Peninsula. Huge majestic trees, including Kauri that survived the intense milling of last century, have been protected and can be seen by the highways and walking tracks.

The famous 309 Road connecting Whitianga to Coromandel Town is a mostly gravel road, very scenic with lots to see and do along the way. An unusual square Kauri tree is located on the Tapu – Coroglen Road. In the spring the yellow flowers of the Kowhai tree break the green of the forest while the red blossoms of the Pohutukawa tree provide a flaming brilliance at Christmas time.