Thursday, 19 February 2009 by kinakoJam
On our trip home to NZ, we visited the Coromandel with my mother and sister. I'd never been there in high summer before, so I was curious what all the hooha was about, on this iconic strip of kiwi coastline: including beaches like Hahei, Gemstone bay and Cathedral Cove.
I asked NZ techno producer and english teacher Simon Flower for a few tips, which ended up being worth their weight in gold. Hence I am republishing them here, along with my own photo evidence, for the benefit of any other prospective Coromandel holiday makers. Go forth, drink tea, swim with stingrays and eat short ribs. And don't miss the beer-battered fries (above): a very thin and crispy shell on those babies.
1. "Hahei beach. The left end is the money end, and is close to the shops, which have a great icecream shop! (behind the general store on the corner). Also at the left end you have a nice cliff side walkway up to the Cathedral Cove track: take your camera as it's a beautiful view from up there.
2. Cathedral Cove is stunning, but I'd also recommend popping down to Stingray bay on the walk to the Cove. At this time of year the Cove is PACKED, yet in Stingray Bay there is no one, people dont even take the time to walk 2 minutes off the track down to this glorious little bay. And yes, there are stingrays there! Both times I've been there I've seen stingrays swimming in the shallows.
3. Otara Bay. On the road to Hahei from Tairua, you pass a beach called 'sailors grave' on the left. If you go down to sailors grave you'll see a track to the left which goes around the left corner to Otara Bay (about a 10 minute walk). You can walk around the rocks too if you want. Beautiful bay, golden sand, and I bet you won't see anyone there.
4. Colenso Cafe. This is just outside of Whenuakite, near the turnoff for Hahei. Nice country style cafe/herbal tea joint, ladies love it.
(Note from ed: My mother did indeed love it. She purchased the 'crostini topping' below as a souvenir for my grandmother. Crostini topping in a jar...whatever next?)
5. There is a bar/restaurant next to the Ice-cream shop in Hahei called 'The Grange' (on Grange rd). They do these freakin amazing BBQ ribs. They come on a bed of wedges, so I'd change the order to make it BBQ ribs on their own, with a side of their beer-battered fries. Killer pub grub."
Ahh... fancy pub food, ankles scraped from snorkeling over boulders, herbal tea and jars of gussied up tomato stuff to spread on dry toasts... Thanks for the great tips Simon!
The Coromandel is splendid indeed.