I’m sorry. I just had to call the post that because it rhymed and I thought it was sweet. But really, in real life, The Coromandel is no laughing matter. I mean, you can laugh when you’re there, it’s not like the laughing police are out to get you. Okay. I’m getting so sidetracked. Basically, this is Heaven on Earth, and my absolute favourite area in New Zealand that I’ve discovered so far (although I’ve only explored Auckland and a bit of the Coromandel, so I’m not so sure I can be trusted). But if you’re nosey like me, and like to look at other peoples’ holiday photos, or want a little visitors guide to the area, then this will be just your cup of tea.
Like the look of these images? Then click below to continue reading about, and looking at photos from, our amazing little 3 night getaway to Hahei, in the Coromandel! A haven for those who love sandy toes, hot hot hot weather and a totally chilled out time!
We left on Friday, to drive down to the Coromandel from our house in Waimauku, which is in West Auckland. It took us ages – Aucklanders seem to be notorious for driving up your ass, and it results in soooo many fender benders that back up the motorway. With no traffic it should take you about 2 hours to get to Hahei from Auckland. We stopped along the way in Tairua because (I hadn’t written a list and planned outfits) I forgot my bikinis at home. We bought a cute new Billabong one which I love. But now all my pictures look like they’re from the same day – I swear they aren’t, and that we didn’t just spend one really long day in Hahei.
We stayed at a place called Hahei Holiday Resort. Ben’s parents had been there for 2 weeks already, and were leaving. So we came down and took over their caravan from them. It’s the perfect place to stay if you’re in Hahei – the resort is directly in front of the beach. You absolutely cannot get closer. The campsites are spacious and have power. The ablutions are super clean. But if you’re not the camping type, they have a couple of different options from small cottages, to larger suites available (some of which literally overlook the beach).
We got there quite late, and spent our first evening taking a stroll along the beach, and going out for dinner to one of the two local pizzerias. We decided on ‘The Pour House‘ – their pizzas are fabulous, and the setting is totally relaxed – think lots of fairy lights, craft beer and sharing tables with people you don’t know (we met two British anesthetists who were totally interesting). I wouldn’t suggest getting a burger at The Pour House – I ordered one, and there was too little burger for the bun, in my humble (very experienced burger eating and making) opinion.
The next day we were jam packed with activities. We began by taking a drive to the neighbor Hot Water Beach, which isn’t a have of Ben’s, but looked rather gorgeous in photos. If you go at low tide you can dig holes in the sand, and, as the name suggests, you can literally sit in hot water (heated by underground thermal springs). we decided to go for breakfast at Hot Waves Café, which is tucked away on the opposite side of the road to the beach (If you walk away from the beach, follow the road, you’ll find it). Ben’s steak sandwich was amazing, but I wish I’d ordered the breakfast burrito. I had their cheesecake instead, which was still absolutely delicious.
From there we headed back to Hahei, and spent a couple of hours drinking Rekorderlig on the the beach, which was both magical (it looks and feels like Heaven) and stressful (for Ben, taking photos on me when he could have been relaxing). We then hopped aboard a sweet little boat with Hahei explorer and saw in one hour, what would have taken us absolute ages to explore on our own. It cost us $75 pp, and was totally worth it – seeing Cathedral cove from the water, zooming out to the different islands, popping into caves and through holes in the rocks, feeding baby snapper in the marine reserve – it was just perfect, and was a great way to become familiarized with the surroundings. Our captain knew so much about the local seabed – where tectonic plates had scraped together, raising the seabed up to form jagged rock… it was so much fun! (We crossed our fingers that we’d see orcas, but to no avail.)
After coming ashore, we caught the ferry across to Whitianga which was totally cheap. Pretty sure we paid $6 pp return. We took a walk around, popped into The Warehouse to buy underwear for me (another staple I’d left at home. cringe.) and ended up having dinner at a place right on Buffalo beach called On Fire. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves – our cocktails were delicious, our pizzas, albeit slightly burnt, were perfect. There is live music, waiters of all sorts of nationalities and a real beach buzz to the place.
(This is Ben’s “I want to eat my food, stop photographing it” face. The reality of blogging.)
From there we walked over to The Lost Spring. OH MY WORD. I haven’t ever been to anything like this in all my life and all my travels. All I can say, is if you’re ever near Whitianga in your life, and you don’t go here, may the travel gods strike you down for being foolish. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done, and goes right up there with watching a sunset over the ocean from Santorini, Turkish massages in Istanbul and beer drinking in Munich. Honestly, it was that good.
Basically, this totally cool guy realized there were thermal springs on his property, and he built 2 incredible pools surrounded by beautiful trees, crystals and pool loungers. The water is 16,000 years old, is sterile and contains zero bacteria – it’s so good for you, and leaves your skin feeling incredibly soft. The water in the pools ranges from 32 – 41 degrees celcius. The natural hot spring actually heating the water is 667m below the Earth’s surface. You can order drinks while still floating around, as well as food. The waiters are attentive, and work really fast. This was honestly one of the most remarkable places I’ve ever been to in my life. We headed home, for an evening of relaxation.
Our final full day in Hahei we spent chilling out on the beach. We grabbed coffees from the local café, tried to park and take a walk down to Cathedral Cove – to no avail (the parking at the top is a nightmare!) so we headed back down and took a bottle of veuve to Hahei beach, as well as some snacks and two coconuts to drink. (Those are way harder than they look to break into!)
We spent the entire day on the beach, simply relaxing, taking photos and enjoying our final hours in The Coromandel. It was the perfect end to my first weekend away in New Zealand. There will be loads more happening soon!