Breadcrumbs recently teamed up with Jucy, Tripper Society & The Coromandel on a project to showcase what the area has to offer. We had 5 days to get through the region, filming & dropping crumbs as we went. The below is a bit of a highlights commentary. To discover the area yourself we suggest downloading Breadcrumbs (obviously) and sussing out the crumbs dropped in the area!
After a kip at Miranda top10 holiday park (https://goo.gl/NS7REn) we woke for sunrise at Ray’s Rest on the Seabird Coast. The bright colours bursting out from behind the Coromandel Ranges and reflecting onto the Firth of Thames was a site to see (it was an absolute banger as you can see below). From the sexy, sexy, sunrise we drove on to Karangahake Gorge to do the Windows walk. This 1 hour walk takes you through old mining tunnels which pop out of the cliffs giving you ‘windows’ to look at the remarkable view through! From there it was on to Owharoa falls for a quick dip. Following the swim, Whangamata for a surf with local Instructors (and surf-camp operators) Mauro & Katrina from Surf N stay Whangamata (https://goo.gl/2PQC2L). Our hectic day 1 finished with pitching a tent & parking up in the Jucy Condo at Kauaeranga Valley to listen to the birds chirp & watch the sun go down! Epic.
We spent Day 2 pretending we were James Bond’s less skilled sibling – abseiling, zip-lining, jumping and stumbling our way down 300m of waterfalls. This isn’t the brand of tourism for level 50 TripAdvisor contributors. This day out is for those who are yearning for a sense of real adventure. Those who want to be thrown out of their comfort zone and into a deep blue plunge pool from 14m. Russ & Wayne (owners) are a couple of down-to-earth classic kiwis. They spin great chat, they make you feel welcome & it would be remiss of us not to mention Wayne’s ‘tree trunk’ arms which spend the day lowering humans down cliffs! After a huge day, the Shelly Beach Top10 (https://goo.gl/LRU4ZL) was another great spot to rest our weary but accomplished heads.
We began day 3 with a late morning pick up from Willie at Coromandel Adventures (https://goo.gl/qp2aQx), who was taking us right up to the top of the Coromandel Peninsula to walk the Coromandel Coastal Walkway. The drive is a journey in itself as you are taken further & further off the beaten track & towards lush native forest. Willie is an expert in the area and he will give you a great insight into local Maori heritage, geological history & the restoration/conservation efforts underway. The main ‘meal’ as Willie put it was the walkway itself, offering expansive views out over the coastline and to Great Barrier Island. The water is so crystal blue it would get Walter White going and the native forest is buzzing with birdlife. You may even hear the occasional pterodactyl-esque call of the Kaka! The drive back takes you through tunnels of twisting Pohutukawa with a couple of stop-offs for sunset pics.
The 3.45 alarm was a sharp start to day 4. Once we made it to New Chums we quickly sharpened up. After clambering across rocks & crawling up the hill to the New Chums Lookout we were treated to a spectacle of a sunrise! Luke’s kitchen (https://goo.gl/WUjHRZ) was the next stop of day 4 for a beauty of a pizza (or 3) & a locally brewed (blue fridge beer) frothy. Our hustle bustle itinerary for the day led us to Hahei where we were taken on a 1 hour boat tour of the area, showcasing caves, blowholes & even the vertical patterns of a faultline on the roof of a cave (https://goo.gl/sJHJZw)! We parked up at Hahei Holiday Resort (https://goo.gl/q9cGCh) where Grant & his team welcomed us for the night. Before tucking in we hit up the Pour House (https://goo.gl/ZQxfLj) for some fresh AF fish & chips, then wandered down to Cathedral Cove for the sunset. What. A. Day.
Our fifth & final day saw us getting up unreasonably early yet again. This time it was for a Coro experience that should not be missed – Hot Water Beach for sunrise! This often jam-packed spot isn’t as crowded at 5am, so we dug a hole, brew a coffee and chill for a good soak! Once our skin looked like raisins we decided to make tracks for Whangamata where we would pick up a left behind wallet from 5 days prior (cheers to the legends at the epic cafe Six Forty Six for not only making beautiful arancini but also safeguarding the wallet – https://goo.gl/CxxZsP). We managed to get back in touch with Mauro & Katrina who offered us their exclusive kayak tour of Whenuakura Wildlife Sanctuary (also known as Donut Island) through their secondary tour company Surfsup (https://goo.gl/GJuauo). Landing on Whenuakura is strictly forbidden in order to protect the already damaged wildlife habitat & sacred site, if you do go to Whangamata, hit up Surfsup for a tour as they can take you safely in & out in the often dangerous swell! After a brief stop off at Cafe Melbourne in Thames, we were Auckland bound.
We got to Auckland and hit stand-still traffic on the Southern Motorway. We remained there for 2.5 hours before the reality hit us. Our epic escape to the Coromandel was over. While our time of adventuring and discovery was done, general consensus from our touring group was that yes… Coromandel is indeed #goodforyoursoul and we would be back.