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Coromandel is famous for its sparkling azure blue waters, sandy white beaches, secluded bays and tree lined coastal roads.

Just over an hour's drive from Auckland city, the Coromandel Peninsula lies to one side of the well beaten path of mainstream tourism and is a popular place for local holiday-makers. Expanses of beautiful native bush run to the beaches and coastline, softening the rugged towering mountain ranges. The area is home to many artists and craftspeople whose studios are often open to the passing visitor.

Last century's rough pioneering history of logging and mining in the Coromandel taught the locals to respect the land. Today, along with a strong conservation ethic, over 40% of the Coromandel region is protected but is accessible through good walking tracks.

Something For Everyone

Activities on the Peninsula include something for everyone: fishing, diving, camping, surfing, bush walking, windsurfing, abseiling, flying, birdwatching, climbing, sea kayaking, gardens, train rides, old gold mine tours, museums, golf, mini golf, adventure ropes course, charter boating, sports clubs of all types and all beach fun.

If that sounds too busy you could try the local speciality - do nothing, just rest and relax!

There is something for everyone, in this land of yesterday with gold mining, gum digging and timber milling contributing in no small part to the region's history.

The west coast route passes a string of small settlements and sandy bays to the historic town of Coromandel and reaches land's end at Cape Colville.

To the east lie the surf beaches and larger resort towns of Whitianga, Tairua and Pauanui, all with many attractions including golf, game fishing, swimming with the dolphins, kayaking or just relaxing on the beach.

Hahei Beach is well known for its sands, tinged pink with finely crushed shells and the coastal walk to spectacular Cathedral Cove.

At the aptly named Hot Water Beach, hot springs seep through the sands which can be scooped out for an individual thermal pool.

Today, the bustling town of Thames bids welcome and provides the gateway to the Peninsula's treasure trove of seaside settlements and larger resort towns.

The land is rich with Maori History - pa sites, evidence of moa hunting and the establishment of coastal settlements, over a thousand years ago, according to archeological research.

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