Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Coromandel Town

Located 2 hours drive or scenic ferry ride from Auckland city, Coromandel is a quaint town known for its laid back, free-spirited lifestyle. 

While Laura caught the 360 Discovery ferry from Auckland, I hired a Rav 4 4x4 from Sunkist Car Rentals in Thames and drove up the spectacular Thames Coast.
Framed by Pohutukawa trees the Thames Coast highway is a scenic drive that is best driven in the afternoon when you can witness the majestic sunsets.

Once in Coromandel Town there is plenty to do whether it be riding on the innovative trains at Driving Creek Railway...
Experiencing the kiwi ingenuity at the Water Works... OR

Fishing amongst the mussel farms with Mussel Barge Snapper Safaris.

If you're looking for somewhere to stay, Coromandel Town has a wide range of good quality accommodation including:

Anchor Lodge
  - Spa apartments and spa suites; for a luxury stay with stunning views. 
  - Motel units; full kitchen facilities, tastefully decorated and opening onto        balconies. 
  - Hostel accommodation; clean, comfortable with a social atmosphere. 
Coromandel Motel’s, Holiday Park and Backpackers 
  - Ideal family accommodation
Jacaranda Lodge
  - Bed and breakfast style accommodation

Proudly sponsored by Sunkist Rental Cars

Sunkist Backpacker's Car Rentals

Here are four great reasons to consider 4WD rentals in Thames for your next holiday to the Coromandel:
  1.  For those who are on a budget this is a cheap option to get off the beaten track and explore the Coromandel from only $35 per day.
  2. Intercity Coaches provide direct transport to the Sunkist Backpackers in Thames from the main centers in the North Island. Fares are around $25 per person.
  3. Once you get to Thames, you can go where buses can’t take you and explore places like Fletcher Bay, Waikawau Bay and New Chums Beach – Sunkist Rentals are one of the few companies that allows you to venture off sealed roads!
  4. There’s loads of space to take ya mates or if you’re like me, to fit your extra luggage!

New Chums Beach

About 20 minutes from Coromandel town, New Chums beach is one of the last remaining untouched and unspoiled areas of the New Zealand coastline.

Voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world by The Observer in 2006 and more recently 60th of the 101 Must Do’s for Kiwis - New Chums Beach remains a hidden gem!

This was my first visit to New Chums and it really was a true discovery of my own private paradise - I was blown away!

The best time to walk there is at low tide, as you have to wade through the estuary at the northern end of Whangapoa beach.  Otherwise you will be walking in waist deep water, and like us, may have to take your pants off so they don’t get wet! (ask one of the local i-sites when low tide is)

We carried on in our undies, following the shoreline for roughly 15 minutes. Don’t make our mistake by thinking you’ve missed the track and start walking back – it is quite visible from the rocks so keep walking till you see it.

We finally found the narrow track that crosses the low point in the headland saddle and eventually opens up to a spectacular beach with golden sand and turquoise water. AND it was all ours! Not one other person on the beach...

Now I understand why it was voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world!

Proudly sponsored by Sunkist Rental Cars


This secret little spot is one of New Zealand’s most stunning beaches, yet it’s really only famous for one thing: The Kuaotunu Killer.

After our walk to New Chums beach we decided it was ice cream time and stopped off at the Kuaotunu General Store to experience the legend of the Kuaotunu Killer – 5 massive scoops of ice cream for $5. 

The owner of the Kuaotunu Store said she has seen grown men attempt and fail to get through the Killer… we didn’t stand a chance! We opted for the $2 ice cream instead, which is still 2 massive scoops of your choice!

If you think you’ve got what it takes to take on the Kuaotunu Killer, Kuaotunu is definitely worth a stop – and you can burn it off by taking a walk along the beach.

We also stopped in for a coffee at Kuaotunu Bay Lodge. Lorraine and Bill are such lovely hosts and their accommodation offers stunning views over Kuaotunu beach!

Proudly sponsored by Sunkist Rental Cars