New Zealand is all about road trips, beautiful landscapes and jaw dropping vistas. We started our trip from Auckland and headed towards South as days passed. While in North Island, we visited Coramandel Peninsula on Day 1 along with Murawei Beach.
About Coramandel Peninsula
One of the highlights in the North Island is the road trip through Coramandel peninsula. Defined by a hilly area edged by the vast ocean, Coramandel Peninsula was the first destination that we considered in our 15 day trip to New Zealand.
This was the first road trip of many to come during our New Zealand trip. We landed on Day 0 in Auckland and headed to a 5 hour road trip covering Coramandel Peninsula on Day 1 itself. It was actually a bit insane and I wouldn’t recommend this. It became too hectic for us, especially when we clubbed it with Murawei beach for a spectacular sunset.
We combined Muriwai Beach with Coramandel Peninsula on the same day, frankly it was a stretch. I have no shame in admitting that I let the excitement get the better of me. No regrets, of course we were excited like crazy!
We felt that the views & road trip that we experienced while driving through Coramandel Peninsula was not value for effort. However, the Sunset at Muriwai Beach was spectacular. Ideally, we should have dedicated the whole day to Coramandel Peninsula. But, the extremely high excitement influenced our decision too heavily.
To read more about Murawei Beach, you can have a look at this blog post about Murawei beach.
What to see in Coramandel Peninsula?
For Coramandel Peninsula, the major attraction is Cathedral Cove. It’s a beach and takes around 1 hour to reach from the available free parking. From the parking, there’s a shuttle for which you need to pay 10 NZD per head. It takes about 15 minutes to reach a view point, known as Cathedral Cove Viewing Deck. From the view point, Cathedral Cove is a 45 minute hike away. However, we didn’t hike all the way to Cathedral Cove. We just spent some time at the view point and hiked for 15 minutes till Gemstone Bay. It was a relaxing beach with less tourists. After a bit of a rocky patch, you can swim in the azure water there. Feel free to carry your snorkeling gear as you can take a dip here.
In case you want to visit the Cathedral Cove beach and not hike all the way, you can opt for a boat ride. We didn’t take the boat ride either as we were literally short of time. Anyway, we were going to spend the next 4 days in Fiji which was all about beaches and turquoise oceans. So, we decided to give Cathedral Cove a skip.
You can still see the Cathedral cove beach from various viewpoints throughout the hike, which we enjoyed.
To know about the most epic sunset of my life, read about our next destination which we covered on the same day – Most Epic Sunset at Muriwai Beach
Tips about Coramandel Peninsula
- You can use their free parking facility if you are driving down
- From the parking facility, a shuttle runs till Cathadral Cove viewing deck. I highly recommend this as the walk till there is not that special and you will anyway have to hike to go to the beaches
- To cover Coramandel peninsula from Auckland might be a bit stretch. So, if you want a more relaxed trip & are heading to the South island later, you can totally skip the drive till Coramandel peninsula.
Coramandel Peninsula is a great start to your road trip as it’s definitely a spectacular drive till Cathedral Cove. But, the drive in South Island was much better. Given that we went to Fiji, Cathedral Cove & other beaches didn’t seem like must do for us. But, the Cathedral Cove beach & other Coramandel Peninsula coastal beaches are definitely good to visit and offer decent snorkeling opportunities.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate this experience & destination as 7.