New Zealand's Hidden Gem: Exploring The Coromandel Peninsula

The Coromandel Peninsula stretches 85 kilometres northward from the western tip of the Bay of Plenty on New Zealand's North Island
An aerial view of a beach in Coromandel, New Zealand
An aerial view of a beach in Coromandel, New ZealandPhoto: Shutterstock

I've spent the last six weeks upside down. Well, that's only if you believe that the world is indeed spherical. A few months ago, it struck me that most of my travel has been restricted to the Northern Hemisphere. This was neither intentional nor surprising, given the lay of the land in the world as we know it. But, having realised this somewhat random fact, I had two options—either shrug it off as nothing more than interesting or, well…

New Zealand, they say, is the last landmass that has been significantly inhabited in the Southern Hemisphere. If the infotainment screens on my flight to Auckland had been working, I might have been able to tell you how I spent hours staring at the blip on the flight tracker on the long journey. Instead, I can tell you that I tried checking if it worked not less than 54 times before we finally landed!

Fortunately, things went a lot better after that, and I can confirm that New Zealand is quite breathtaking. The largest cities I saw were quite small, and the smallest lakes and forests were large—which is how things should be if you ask me.

Everybody comes to the Coromandel to find happiness, which it delivers willingly

The people I met were eclectic and diverse but common in their enthusiasm for the outdoors and the smaller pleasures of life. But, more importantly, nearly every corner of the country—as well as the middle and its other parts—is an absolute treat to the eyes.

It's hard to choose a first-time favourite experience, but driving in the Coromandel —along the northeastern shores of New Zealand's North Island—was one of the highlights. One would imagine that when you're on an island, you're unlikely to find one specific place where the ocean is more noteworthy than anywhere else, but the colours you see as you traverse this part of New Zealand are in a league of their own.

The summer months are precious in this part of the world, and the Coromandel is where most of the North Island goes to play. Fortunately, even a crowded day on a beach proved to be more like a pleasant gathering of like-minded people. I sat back and took in the view as surfers, sailors, and power boaters carved their own elegant paths across the water, and hobby pilots showed off their moves in the sky. One thing was clear: everybody comes to the Coromandel to find happiness, which it delivers willingly.

Apart from a personal affinity to the name—since I grew up and lived by the sea on India's Coromandel Coast—I was quite taken by its pristine beaches, towering kauri forests, beautiful winding roads and captivating coastal vistas. It's vibrant and alive in a very New Zealand way, which makes it quite different from the many other beautiful parts of the country. And then, of course, there are those brilliantly wonderful Coromandel Blues!

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