Coromandel has no shortage of fabulous beaches to explore. There are so many that it can take 3 to 10 days to explore the whole region.
So depending on how much time you have, you can explore the whole coast or plan a strategic route with your list of go-to beaches!
To get you started, here 11 of the best beaches in Coromandel!
Top 11 Beaches In Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand
1. Tapu Beach
Tapu Beach on Thames Coast is one of the best places in Coromandel to freedom camp if you have a self-contained vehicle. There is also a public toilet that is open all day.
The camp has picnic tables and is both accessible to the beach as well as the main road if you want to check out the local Tapu pub (popular with fishing enthusiasts) or get some fish and chips.
Swimming in the calm waters is possible at high tide but there are better beaches for that. Tapu Beach is more like a pitstop with scenic views to enjoy. The beach itself is quite rocky.
If you have some time to kill, you can comb the shore for some pretty rocks to take home. Other activities that you will see here including kayaking, fishing or standup paddleboarding (SUP).
Note: When it’s windy, the sandflies are kept at bay but it’s better to bring along some repellent anyways.
2. Pauanui Beach
Even in winter, Pauanui Beach is a nice and clean sandy beach that makes for a pleasant beach stroll (you can bring your dog between 6pm to 9am if you want). The atmosphere is calm and quiet.
The waters are suitable for swimming, kayaking, fishing and a bit of surfing too!
You can also freedom camp for up to 2 nights at Pauanui Beach as there are nearby restrooms (at either end of the beach) and shower facilities!
Aside from this, there arepicnic tables and pathways (of varying duration ranging from 20 minute to 1.5 hours) to explore around the hill.
Take the challenging hike up to the summit catch the sunrise (or stargaze) with stunning views of the peninsula.
Note: The 2-3 hour trail starts at the south end of the beach and you can take it down to Flat Rock
If you feel hungry, try Puka Park for lunch or dinner (they have cocktails too).
Location: Pauanui 3579, New Zealand
3. Long Bay At Coromandel
Because this is a naturally sheltered beach, Long Bay is also a great base for a camp and hence, it can get crowded with campers and beach goers during the summer and new years.
Not to mention, Long Bay is a great looking beach, especially on a clear day! Take a refreshing swim, search for shellfish in the shallows, trek the bush walks nearby or go fishing!
There may be kayaks for rental as well.
Location: Coromandel 3581, New Zealand
4. Shelly Beach
If you’re not planning on getting wet, Shelly Beach is ideal for lounging or for the kids to run around since it is a wide beach.
At low tide, you can easily spot crabs or numerous cockle shells along the beach.
Camping at Shelly Beach is safe and convenient because of its proximity to Coromandel town where you can easily pick up supplies or grab a bite to eat!
The fact that this beach is host to a TOP 10 Holiday Park with well-managed facilities, a playground, and a fine outdoor pool further draws in the beach-loving crowd and families.
So if you’re not overly fond of kids, you might want to skip this beach during the summer.
5. New Chums Beach
This is a beach that’s meant more for trekking than swimming as it’s quite rocky.
To access this beach however, you do need to cross a tidal creek up north of Whangapoua Beach (carpark called William Mangakahia Lagoon Reserve).
And therefore, it’s advisable to make the crossing at low tide. At high tide, the water can come up to your waist or hips.
The start of the track involves balancing on some large rocks at the waters edge before coming to the bush trail. Take greater care on this trail if it has just rained.
And if you follow the bush trail in for 10 to 15 minutes, you will find yourself at the secluded New Chums beach. The whole trek should take about 30 to 40 minutes.
Either sit under the shade of the trees to catch your breath, or take a relaxing stroll along the beach.
Note: Bring along your own food
There is also a way (steep path) to climb up to the look-up and get a view of the beach from above if you’re not scared of heights.
Location: North End, Whangapoua 3582, New Zealand
6. Matarangi Beach
Matarangi Beach is one of the best Coromandel beaches for water-based activities – fishing, swimming, kayaking, standup paddleboarding, and some light surfing (if you don’t mind the crabs too much)!
Note: Matarangi Surfing Club is here
This is also a beach to experience lovely sunsets too. But most importantly, the white sand is very fine and there is 4km worth of it!
Unfortunately because this beach is often frequented by dogs and their owners, there is the occasional dog poop to watch out for! You might want to keep those jandals on too.
Other than the water, there are also bush trails of varying difficulty to explore in this area.
Matarangi Beach is in fact, accessible from a few different points – either way, you should be able to find a toilet and bins easily.
And if you can afford a detour:
We highly recommend the amazing pizza at Lukes Kitchen!
Location: Matarangi 3592, New Zealand
7. Lonely Bay
Anyone craving a less crowded beach during peak seasons can try Lonely Bay. As the name suggests, this is a hidden bay that is surprisingly accessible via a short 5 or 10 minute walk from the car park.
The water is a little shallow for real swimming but wading and paddling are doable. Or you can just stay out of the water and chill beneath the shade of many trees at this beach.
You can birdwatch at your leisure here as this is a hunting ground for gannets (depending on the month you go).
It’s worth checking out the Shakespeare Cliff Lookout too even if it is quite steep.
Location: Cooks Beach 3591, New Zealand
8. Hahei Beach
Close to the renowned Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach:
Hahei Beach has stunning white sand and clear swim-able waters so it is little wonder that Hahei Beach often sees a crowd. Especially during the holidays (January).
Note: You can walk to Cathedral Cove from Hahei Beach. Or you can take a water taxi to Cathedral Cove (as well as Whitiãnga) too.
Be here early to get a parking spot (there are also spaces for camper vans). There are public toilets around Hahei Beach as well but they don’t have shower facilities.
And if the weather permits, there are kayaking tours too.
Go towards the north end of the beach if you are trying to find a quiet spot for yourself on this gorgeous but busy beach!
9. Hot Water Beach
There are three things you need to worry about before coming to Hot Water Beach if you’re hoping to soak in the natural hot springs:
Firstly, try to get your hands on a shovel so you don’t have to rent one. Secondly, check the tide schedule so you can avoid high tide.
There is a 2-hour window on either side of low tide and this is when you will be able to dig yourself your own spa pool on the beach!
Lastly, there’s the tourist/ summer crowd to consider. The area where there is hot water isn’t very wide so you may not have a spot to dig your own pool if you get there too late.
Note: Some areas are scalding hot! Be careful.
There are shower facilities as well as proper changing rooms at this beach. Parking is NZD $2/hour.
Location: Hahei 3591, New Zealand
10. Pokohino Beach
Brave the tough and thick gravel road (Pokohino Road) and a steep hike of around 20 to 30 minutes duration (with moderate fitness) to feast your eyes on this slice of heaven!
Note: A 4-wheel drive or similar is recommended for the road; Similar good walking shoes are a better option than simple jandals.
Pokohino Beach is especially worth appreciating during low tide as this allows you to check out the cave which leads out to another section of the beach.
Warning: Don’t enter the cave if the water looks rough
Furthermore, the water here is astoundingly clear and inviting!
Despite its isolation and relative inaccessibility, Pokohino Beach is gaining popularity.
Location: Onemana 3691, New Zealand
11. Whangamata Beach
Swim at ease at Whangamata Beach knowing that there are lifeguards present (close to the surfing school).
The calm waters are just the thing if you plan on getting on your paddle board or kayak too. You can kayak all the way out to Donut Island if you feel like it.
Facilities at this beach include ample parking, showers as well as public restrooms. There is also a surfing school if you’re keen to brush up on your surfing skills.
But if you don’t fancy getting into the water, Whangamata Beach is just as nice for a stroll or walking your dog!
Additionally, this sandy beach is not far from eateries and a lively coastal town at that.
Coromandel beaches have something to offer to everyone. Whether you’re looking for soft whtie sand, secret coves, local beach pubs, bush trails with coastal views and scenic lookout points, or calm waters for swimming and fishing.
Adventurers can seek out the more secluded beaches too! Coromandel is not just about the Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach! Read more on things to do in Coromandel.