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Visiting Whangamata on the Coromandel Peninsula

Visiting Whangamata on the Coromandel Peninsula is the only place where I can ever feel truly relaxed. Not surprising considering how beautiful it is!

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Clark Island, Whangamata Beach, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

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.

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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Jessica

    November 26, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    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!

  2. D.J. - The World of Deej

    November 26, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Hard to find a more beautiful spot on the planet…

  3. Salika Jay

    November 27, 2012 at 5:59 AM

    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.

  4. Arti

    November 27, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    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?

  5. Callie

    November 27, 2012 at 11:17 PM

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

  6. Micki

    November 28, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Lucky you! What a beautiful place to take your family vacations.

  7. Sam

    November 28, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    Love this place too. Certainly going to do a road trip here this summer while I’m back in nz

  8. travelFREAK

    November 29, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    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!

  9. Allan

    November 29, 2012 at 11:31 PM

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

  10. Jade - OurOyster.com

    December 2, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Great photos and description! I spend Christmas 2010 at Cathedral Cove… it was amazing and so beautiful!

  11. Angela

    December 3, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Wow really looks like the best place to relax, great pictures.

  12. Natasha von Geldern

    December 3, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    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 🙂

  13. jill

    December 4, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    Beautiful shots. It reminds me a bit of Hawaii between the beach scene and lush jungle.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 11, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      Never had anyone compare it to Hawaii before but can definitely see the similarities! Not a bad place to grow up aye 😉

  14. Simon

    December 4, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    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…

  15. Noah

    December 8, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    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.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 11, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      Hahaha yup totally right there Noah. In Maori, “Wh” is pronounced like an “F”. Confusing when you have places called “Whakatane” 😉

  16. Ali

    December 9, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    That certainly does look like a gorgeous and relaxing place to spend some vacation time!

    • Cole Burmester

      December 11, 2012 at 11:35 AM

      Not a bad place to grow up and have family holidays at each year aye 😉

  17. Izy Berry - The Wrong Way Home

    December 9, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Very beautiful pictures! You’re doing a great job in promoting New Zealand 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      December 11, 2012 at 11:36 AM

      We should be keeping Whangamata secret though 😉 We do need to write more NZ posts, just haven’t been home in so long until now!

  18. nomadic translator

    December 10, 2012 at 12:44 PM

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

    – Maria Alexandra

    • Cole Burmester

      December 11, 2012 at 11:37 AM

      It is one of the first towns you get to. Prefer the small town charm of it compared to some of the other towns further north.

  19. Turtle

    December 26, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    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?!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 10:16 AM

      All you Aussies just can’t seem to get out of Australia quick enough 😉 Must be something wrong with it!

  20. Pingback: Meet the Kiwi Bloggers: Four Jandals Adventure Travel Blog - Flashpacker Family - Family Travel Blog, Travel with Kids, Toddler Travel Tips

  21. David

    March 2, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    After reading this we spent a few days on the Coromandel and enjoyed a lovely coffee in Whangamata, thanks for sharing!

    • Cole Burmester

      March 3, 2013 at 9:31 AM

      The Coromandel Peninsula is definitely New Zealand’s worst kept secret! Just amazed, less people travel there than the rest of NZ when they visit 🙁

  22. Pingback: Travel Memories from Cole [Four Jandals]

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Oceania

4 of America’s Best Ocean Front Towns

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The United States is lucky to have lots of great coastal areas. With land on both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, the country has boundless beaches in many states. If you’re looking to book a trip on the water, consider one of these oceanfront towns on the American coast.

Siesta Key, Florida

Ranked as the best beach in America by TripAdvisor, it’s no surprise to see Siesta Key on the list of top oceanfront towns in America.

Your first excursion once here should be to dive under the water to see some of the country’s finest aquatic life and corals. Snorkeling spots at Crescent Beach allow you to gaze upon a number of marine creatures in their natural habitat. Afterward, head to Turtle Beach to dry off and catch up on your reading. Finish the day off at Siesta Village, where you can shop, eat, and drink to your heart’s content.

When looking for hotels in Siesta Key, check out locations near the beach so you can have waterfront views right from your room.

Pacific Beach, California

If you live on Florida’s west coast, then Pacific Beach is your best bet for a fun time near the water. It’s a hot spot for the younger crowd, with numerous bars and restaurants that stay open late into the night. If you’re not so into partying, try your hand at surfing or bodyboarding during the day.

Pacific Beach also has a thriving Ocean Front Walk, which is a boardwalk that runs parallel to the water and has enough shops to keep you busy the entire day. Check out Pacific Beach accommodations early on so you can score a place close to all the action without breaking your budget.

Ocean City, New Jersey

For those who are toting around the entire family for a fun-filled vacation, Ocean City in New Jersey is just where you want to be. From the world-famous boardwalk to the 8 miles of sandy beaches, Ocean City lets you keep the entire family happy without pulling your hair out.

Once you’ve tackled the shopping and dining of the boardwalk, head out on the water to try your hand at windsurfing, paddle boarding, Boogie boarding, and more. Kids will love it if you pick out Ocean City hotels near Jim Thorpe’s River Adventures or the New Jersey Motorsports Park.

Islamorada, Florida

Islamorada is the place to go if you want a relaxed vacation with a natural vibe. Comprised of six islands, Islamorada is away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland. Fishing reigns supreme here. Test your skills with both saltwater fly and backcountry sport fishing.

If you have diving certifications, you’ll need to go beneath the water’s surface to explore the wide selection of reefs and fish. There’s even the History of Diving Museum to help you learn more about the hobby. Be sure to book your Islamorada hotels early, as rooms near the water tend to fill up fast.

You can’t go wrong with a trip to one of these four oceanfront towns in America.

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Oceania

Australia – The Ideal Backpackers Destination

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Backpacking all around Australia is a fantastic way to experience the sights of one of the world’s most exciting holiday destinations. For the traveller who loves nothing better than trekking around a beautiful country, Australia is the place to go since it’s the most popular country for backpacking worldwide.

One of the best things about backpacking around Australia is that you could spend an entire year exploring each region and still not see the attractions by spending as much time as you want in each area. You can plan your route ahead of time or be spontaneous and go where the spirit moves you.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

What Australia Has To Offer

Australia is a backpackers dream. The country is perfectly set up for anyone who wants to spend six months or even a year exploring. Some people even end up getting a camper and camping all over the country.  Hundreds of hostels for hikers and backpackers are throughout around the country; the accommodations are clean and comfortable, and it’s easy to arrange transportation from one location to the next.

Heading down under offers the opportunity to make friends from around the world who share your love for backpacking. Some suggestions to follow before you begin your Australian adventure can contribute to making the journey everything you expect.

Food and Drink

A lot of backpackers travelling around Australia take advantage of the abundance of Asian cuisine that’s available in the major cities and small towns. Asian food is inexpensive, filling, and tastes great. Cooking yourself is a good way to enjoy the food you like and save money since you aren’t dining out every night. Check out this article if you are looking to dine on a shoestring.

Australia also has one of the most vibrant coffee cultures.  Visitors from Europe are often surprised at the quality and variety of coffee blends in the Country, much of which is due to the influence of European immigrants who brought their coffee culture with them.

And if you are “outback” they even have a way of making real Italian Coffee in the bush with a portable coffee machine called the Handpresso; a lightweight coffee maker designed to take easy serve espresso pods, giving you real Italian Coffee on the road.

Backpacking Destinations and Itineraries

Outdoor Activities in Cairns - Diving

Outdoor Activities in Cairns – Diving

If your have between three and six weeks and want an unforgettable experience, the east coast of Australia offers the chance to see the sights of Cairns and Sydney, with Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road if you want to extend your trip. In Sydney, visit the harbour and take the coastal walk between Bondi and Coogee Beaches. Blue Mountains National Park is to the west of the city. Towns near Port Macquarie are ideal for bush walks with some of Australia’s best surfing on the coast.

Before you go to Cairns, pop over to Magnetic Island for some of the best walks on the east coast. The best way to observe koalas in their native habitat is on the Fort Walk. If skydiving is on the bucket list, head over to Mission Beach; the most inexpensive spot in the area to learn skydiving. When you get to Cairns, you’ve arrived at the Great Barrier Reef.

The Gold Coast of Queensland is a beautiful, laid-back region. Explore the World Heritage Gondwana Rainforest, camp out or hike the trails. Surfer’s Paradise Beach is known by surfers worldwide. Make new friends at the cafes of Burleigh Heads.

Fraser Island is a must-see destination. The World Heritage site is the largest sand island in the world. Meet Australia’s wildlife or explore the cliffs, the rainforest or go on a whale watch tour. You may even spot one of Australia’s endangered dingos. The island offers accommodations for all budgets.

Backpackers can stay in group accommodations and enjoy the restaurants, bars, or cafes. Agnes Water, on the main coastal road in Queensland, is another famous surfing spot and is on the Great Barrier Reef’s southern tip. Accommodations include hostels with basic amenities to luxury apartments and retreats with WiFi, swimming pools, bars, and bike rentals.

The Whitsundays are an island chain off the coast of central Queensland. The landscape is stunning, the beaches are secluded, and the people are friendly. The islands are on the Great Barrier Reef, with accommodations that are eco-friendly. Airlie Beach is known for hostels for backpackers, with diving, snorkelling, swimming, islands to explore, and exciting nightlife.

Places To Stay

Australia is gorgeous- it has a wide variety of landscape- from deserts and rainforests to beaches, forests, and grasslands. There are many places to stay at but the most fun is a place that’s comfortable and offers you a great breakfast as well! Here are some of the best bed and breakfasts in Australia:

Ningaloo Bed and Breakfast– located in Exmouth, in Western Australia, this B & B is spread over 2.5 acres of bushland. Situated close to the Ningaloo reef, this lovely space has space for six adults. It’s perfect for a quiet vacation, immersed in nature and enjoying the beauty of this wondrous landscape. There’s something or the other to do the whole year through on the Reef, and this is the perfect place for nature enthusiasts.

Mary’s Bed and Breakfast is situated at the base of Bold Park Bushland. With its comfortable rooms and continental breakfast, this is a popular choice for travellers keen to see and experience the bushland. There are beaches at a few kilometres away, as is King’s Park and the Museum. You also have great food choices, sports and the village of Claremont. The King Studio and the apartments have all amenities, garage, and private entrance.

The 12 Apostles Bed and Breakfast is a lovely farmhouse situated on a hill behind the 12 Apostles. If you want to feel a sense of being in the countryside, this is the place for you. The sea views are calming and exciting, there’s a lovely garden to relax in, and just a few minutes away is the magnificent 12 Apostles. The breakfast and the views are both gorgeous. You may have seen many a sunrise or sunset, but nothing quite like the one from here.

For a different type of B&B, head to Coober Pedy and check out the underground VenusHill Bed and Breakfast. Even the approach is great- a tunnel at a slight angle. It starts from here- the excitement and magic. The underground accommodation is warm in winters and cool in summers. It has a complete kitchen, all amenities and a chance to experience the mining life.

Launceston Bed and Breakfast Retreat- for a view of the river and some exciting wildlife sightings, check out this space. It’s gorgeous not only for its location but also for how lovely the property is. The South Esk river keeps you company throughout. It’s about 15 minutes from Brisbane St mall, and the Cataract Gorge. It’s also close to the river and you can spot a lot of wildlife here- wallabies, kangaroos, etc.

Amber Lodge Bed and Breakfast– situated in a World Heritage Forest, this is one beautiful property. It has an old world feel to it- with its high ceilings, and wooden interiors. The Tamborine Mountains are a perfect backdrop to this property. Explore the wineries of the region, take a walk through the forest or just explore the space- the Markets are delightful. There’s a lot to do in this gorgeous country. Head to South East Queensland for this place.

In Sydney, check out the Cecil Street B&B Manly. Set in a residential neighbourhood, the two warm and inviting rooms are comfortable and put you right in the centre of everything- the B&B is less than 4 kilometres from the Sydney Harbour National Park and just 15 minutes away from Manly Beach. Sydney is a vibrant, alive space and being at Manly will help you enjoy it even more so. Shop, visit the opera, take a trip to the outskirts- everything is well within reach.

Nestled in the Derwent Valley in Tasmania is the Roslyn House. This Bed and Breakfast has a great rustic feel, what with its furniture and decorative elements. A hearty country breakfast awaits before you set off on your day of exploration- the Mount Field National Park is 20 minutes away and the city of Hobart is less than an hour’s drive off. This is absolutely breath-taking property- green lush grounds, lovely gardens and well-appointed rooms.

Como Waters Bed and Breakfast, in Perth, Western Australia, has three comfortable rooms and parking. It’s 10 minutes by car from the City Center, and about half an hour from Fremantle. The Como is close to eating joints and stores. There’s a private courtyard to take advantage of the beautiful weather. It’s close to the Swan Valley wineries too and that makes for a fabulous trip.

Thanks to online sites, finding a vacation rental is easy today. A guest is spoilt for choice- from AirBNB to specific sites devoted to Bed & Breakfasts, Vacation rentals, be it apartments, villas or condos. But there’s one thing that you need to do- take the time and effort to learn all about your hosts and the spaces they are renting out by doing a background check. Check the location, the proximity to places of interest and tourist choice and then take a call on where you want to go.

 

Enjoy a wonderful vacation!

 

 

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Oceania

Enjoy the very best of New Zealand on a luxury yacht charter

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Halfway across the globe for many, New Zealand represents the ultimate destination for adventure-seekers, culture aficionados and nature lovers alike. No matter what draws you to these exotic shores, there could be no better way to experience the best that this land has to offer than onboard a luxury New Zealand yacht charter. Chart your own course and let your expert and attentive crew fulfil your every desire.

New Zealand

Explore every facet of one of the world’s most breathtakingly beautiful spots, when you charter a yacht in New Zealand. Surf majestic swells. Study the mysteries and magic of the Maori culture up close and personal. Hike deep into thickly wooded, luxuriant forests. Learn every curve and rise of this rugged countryside intimately, as you follow New Zealand’s nine epic “great walks”, from Abel Tasman to Rakiura. Climb high up into the clouds, as you scale massive mountains.

Dive beneath the mirror-like surface of expansive lakes, nestled between green cliffs. Swim in the cool, clear glacial waters of fjords. Spend lazy hours drinking in the sunshine on deserted white-sand cove beaches with your New Zealand yacht charter anchored just offshore. Give into the laid-back vibes of a land that seems to inhabit its own unique space and time.

Discover the liveliest hangouts in up-to-the-minute, buzzy Auckland. Taste vintages guaranteed to convince you why New Zealand’s reputation as a world-leading wine producer is well-deserved. Sample slow food specialties from every corner of this nation, which is celebrated for its local produce and innovative cuisine. Treat your taste buds to meals, which make the most of the freshest, locally sourced ingredients, such as the area’s famed meats and fresh fish – all expertly prepared by your onboard chef.

Endless Summer – A superyacht made to go wherever adventure beckons

In search of the perfect yacht charter for your New Zealand adventure? Consider chartering the 49.9-metre (163.7-foot) superyacht, ENDLESS SUMMER. This brand new yacht, launched in 2017, has been specifically designed and constructed to travel over vast distances and to reach every corner of the planet.

Onboard this sturdy, powerful and extremely expansive, world-class superyacht you’ll be able to truly get to know the very best that New Zealand has to offer. Plus, with a superb interior, created by the acclaimed Varo Team, and a ridiculously spacious exterior which includes multiple al fresco dining areas, a Jacuzzi, bar and outdoor cinema – Endless Summer yacht will let you cruise in high style, as you unlock the secrets and national treasures of this wild and irrepressible land. There’s no better way to see, hear, taste, touch and feel the wonders of New Zealand than to journey straight to its heart onboard your own superyacht charter.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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