Located just one and a half hours from Auckland International Airport the Coromandel is a world away from the urban sprawl. Its unique landscape and relaxed lifestyle make it an ideal holiday destination and a favourite for New Zealanders. There is plenty to do in the Coromandel.
Along with its natural beauty - misty rainforests and pristine beaches - it's historical past is rich and colourful. Captain Cook visited the area in 1769 and observed the transit of the planet Mercury across the face of the sun hence the names of some of the region's beaches and bays - Mercury Bay and Cook's Beach.
In the nineteenth century the peninsula was exploited for its timber, gold and kauri gum. Eventually the kauri and the accessible gold were exhausted and the gum market destroyed. The Coromandel economy gradually shifted to farming, fishing, horticulture, and tourism. The forest started to regenerate and a new era of people moved into the area, one that valued the environment. Thirty four percent of the land on the peninsula is now administered by the Department of Conservation.
Many visitor attractions have been developed so that visitors can reflect on the region's former days. The Coromandel's history is captured in a number of museums around the region. The Coromandel is a walker's paradise with many coastal walkways and inland bush walks ranging from several hours to several days. Huge kauris that were saved from the loggers' saws still remain and can easily be viewed.
Many artists and craftspeople have made the Coromandel their home, inspired by the region's idyllic setting. Visitors can follow an arts and crafts trail from one side of the peninsula to the other following the popular Pacific Coast Highway. Other tourism operators have established themselves to take advantage of the clear waters and many kilometres of coastline and islands surrounding the Coromandel. Choose from the numerous water activities available - fishing, sailing, kayaking,
Being a favourite holiday destination for New Zealanders the Coromandel is now home to some exciting events that have a strong local following and growing International reputation.
The newest event is the Leadfoot Festival in February at Hahei. An invitation event of Historic, classic and more modern race cars and bikes.
Also in February is the Paeroa Battle of the Streets. The centre of Paeroa is closed for a street race with various classes of both classic and modern bikes. The day before a large V8 swap meet is held.
For those with an interest in the 50,s and 60’s, Rock and Roll and American cars you can’t beat the Beach Hop held in Whangamata every March.
Continuing to grow for those with a passion for British cars and culture is Brits at the Beach held in Whangamata every October.