Planning two days of Coromadel travel, Kyle, Isha and I had a long-planned list of things we wanted to see and do in the Coromandel and only a weekend in Whitianga to fit everything in.
The Lost Spring
Visiting the Lost Spring is one of the best things to do in Whitianga on the Coronamdel Peninsular. Entry into the geo-thermal pools costs $45 for 90 minutes or $85 for four hours (which seemed very steep). While entry prices are high found they rounded the time up and no one ever asked to check our wrist bands.
The hot springs are man-made an set in an impressive garden. You can set up a tab and have staff bring you cocktails as you lie in the water of different depths and temperatures, imagining you are in Fiji or Bali. Whitianga is 2 and a half hours drive from Auckland.
Where to stay in the Coromandel
We stayed the night at Beachside Resort in Whitianga (a decent sized unit for $175 including booking fees and extra person, only gripe the fact the entire bathroom became a shower so water goes EVERYWHERE) and got an amazing ‘Verde’ pizza from Al Camina for dinner – olives, capers, feta, sundried tomatoes, spinach and mozarella cheese.
Breakfast was at Jandals Cafe on Whitianga’s main street – nice apricot and cranberry muesli with honey and yogurt, a decent sized ‘Jandals Breakfast’ traditional cooked breakfast and coffee rating about 5 out of 10. We then loaded up with snacks from the Four Square and headed for Cathedral Cove.
We somehow scored a park in the limited parking in the carpark for Cathedral Cove and admired the view from the top before starting the 45 minute (by DOC signage, more like 30 minute) walk down into the cove.
This walk is definitely a must for your coromandel itinerary and is well worth the undulating hike for the gorgeous white sand beach which features in a number of movies. This coromandel beach must be the most photographed beach in the country.
We were very lucky with the sunny weather having our first ocean swim of the summer (although technically it is now Autumn) and jumping off rock just off shore.
Hot Water Beach
Finally we visited Hot Water Beach. My key learning was that you need to go at low tide for hot water so despite best efforts all we hit was cold. Had we done sufficient research we would have gone their first thing. Their signage certainly does nothing to inform patrons of the lack of hot water at high tide and we were certainly not the only ones digging with no result on the beach.
While the Coromandel peninsular is full of Aucklanders escaping for the weekend it is a beautiful part of the North Island and you must visit in summer to take advantage of the fabulous Coromandel beaches.