Visiting Whangamata on the Coromandel Peninsula

| November 26, 2012 | 30 Comments

Visiting Whangamata on the Coromandel Peninsula is the only place in the world where I can ever feel truly relaxed. A place I can rest my weary jandals and unwind after any stresses.

Whangamata Beach, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand, Sunrise

Sunrise in Whangamata

Visiting Whangamata

For 25 years I have been heading to the family beach bach (Kiwi slang for holiday accommodation) in Whangamata for all sorts of water adventures. Snorkelling, surfing and relaxing on the empty beaches with a good book are how the days are best filled.

Even as the car cruises along the winding black sticky tarmac, melting under the hot sun, I begin to get a sense of relaxation. Knowing what is to come over the coming summer days.

Especially as we drover nearer and nearer it always became a competition between us boys to see who could spot the sparkling blue sea on the horizon first between the rolling farmland.

Whangamata Coromandel Peninsula New Zealand

Luckily for such a beautiful spot, development on the Coromandel Peninsula is slow and Whangamata hasn’t changed much in the 25 years that we have been visiting.

Sure the houses have got bigger and more expensive. But you don’t have to scratch very far below the surface to find the small town charm of New Zealand in Whangamata.

Whangamata Beach, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

Small town Whangamata seen from the Clark Island lookout

Locals still stop their cars on the main street to chat through their windows oblivious to the queue behind them. Not that anyone in the queue minds.

And if you pass someone on the beaches while walking the dog then a friendly greeting you will receive.

That is if you even see another person strolling along the empty white sandy beaches, which stretch from the Harbour entrance in the north, to the freshwater estuary mouth to the south.

Whangamata Beach, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

It doesn’t take long to fall back into the easy lifestyle of the locals either. And even though I am there to relax, I don’t sleep in.

I wouldn’t want to miss the spectacular sunrises that spread across the eastern skies. Bringing warm summer breezes and a blistering sun to make you run for some shade and an ice cream in the afternoon.

Whangamata Beach, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand, Sunrise

Whether it is with a freshly waxed surfboard tucked under the arm or the launching of the boat over the sand, we are up early to make the most of our days.

If we are out on the boat then lunch is packed away for later. Sheltered and secluded beaches along the rocky coastline or on one of the islands becomes our tablecloth. And the sun warms us up after spending too long chasing crayfish underwater.

Clark Island, Whangamata Beach, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

While it should surprise me, even after all this time on the road I still count myself lucky that I get to call New Zealand home. The only problem with visiting Whangamata and home, is that it makes it quite hard to say goodbye.

Whangamata Beach, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

If you want to go Hiking in Whangamata check out our Wentworth Falls photos.

Thanks to Moss Burmester for some of the photos.

About the Author ()

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

Comments (30)

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  1. Jessica says:

    This place looks stunningly beautiful, yet tranquil. I can see why it would make a good haven of relaxation. I love the photo of Whangamata at sunrise – amazing!
    Jessica recently posted..Sunday Snapshot: Lake Quilatoa

  2. Hard to find a more beautiful spot on the planet…
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..Where Should We Stay in Las Vegas – You Decide

  3. Salika Jay says:

    Oh, the beach! Beach is one of the top things I enjoy on a vacation. Beautiful photos. Looks like a great place for some relaxation.
    Salika Jay recently posted..Barcelona Nightlife – A Starter Guide

  4. Arti says:

    Stunning captures!! NZ is so high on my bucket list! I will be travelling to Melbourne sometime next year, maybe I will try doing a bit of NZ then. Is it feasible?
    Arti recently posted..Turning 3 – Our Yatra Continues…

  5. Callie says:

    Wow, what a gorgeous place to call home! Looks like such a relaxing place to come back to….

  6. Micki says:

    Lucky you! What a beautiful place to take your family vacations.
    Micki recently posted..12 Travel Tips For Making the Most of your Smartphone on the Road

  7. Sam says:

    Love this place too. Certainly going to do a road trip here this summer while I’m back in nz
    Sam recently posted..Thoughts on Choosing Your Travel Accommodation

  8. I spent over a year in NZ and I fell in love with the place. I’m in China now, and I think of New Zealand more than ever!
    travelFREAK recently posted..Win a Trip to Rome!

  9. Allan says:

    Nice work Cole and Adela look forward to seeing more. Thanks for the tweet

  10. Great photos and description! I spend Christmas 2010 at Cathedral Cove… it was amazing and so beautiful!
    Jade – recently posted..Travelling With Children – Interview With GreenGlobalTravel

  11. Angela says:

    Wow really looks like the best place to relax, great pictures.
    Angela recently posted..I want to “Go With Oh” to Paris

  12. It’s great to have that go to relaxing place – mine in New Zealand is Ohope Beach near Whakatane where I spent holidays growing up. The Corommandel is another favourite region 🙂
    Natasha von Geldern recently posted..Destination wedding in Bali

  13. jill says:

    Beautiful shots. It reminds me a bit of Hawaii between the beach scene and lush jungle.
    jill recently posted..Scenes from the Amazing Valley of Fire

  14. Simon says:

    I can’t wait to be there and to see this beautiful place with my eyes. I want to have a long walk on that white beach, and listen to the waves and the breeze…
    Simon recently posted..Barcelona, the Dragon of the Rambla

  15. Noah says:

    I visited Whangamata back in 2003. If I’m not mistaken, you pronounce it Fanga-ma-ta (or at least that is how my Kiwi friend pronounced it.) I kept saying, “We should go to Whangamata. I read that the surf is good.” He kept saying, “Sure, but first we’ll visit Fangamata.” We had some disagreements as to which one we should visit first.
    Noah recently posted..37 Hours: Hoi An

  16. Ali says:

    That certainly does look like a gorgeous and relaxing place to spend some vacation time!
    Ali recently posted..Evaluating Transportation Options

  17. Very beautiful pictures! You’re doing a great job in promoting New Zealand 🙂
    Izy Berry – The Wrong Way Home recently posted..Travel Musings: The Now

  18. I have heard about the Coromandel Peninsula before, but not this particular town. Definitely looks relaxing!

    – Maria Alexandra
    nomadic translator recently posted..Playa Del Carmen nightclubs: La gente esta muy LOCA…WTF?

  19. Turtle says:

    Don’t say goodbye! Stay there forever! Why do all these New Zealanders always want to see the world when they clearly have the best of it right at their jandal-covered feet?!
    Turtle recently posted..Visiting Luxembourg City

  20. David says:

    After reading this we spent a few days on the Coromandel and enjoyed a lovely coffee in Whangamata, thanks for sharing!
    David recently posted..The Coromandel Peninsula; New Zealand’s worst kept secret

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