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17 Best Beaches in Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

Are you on the hunt for the best beaches in the Coromandel Peninsula? Look no further! 

If you’re like me and absolutely cannot get enough of beautiful beaches, then you’re in for a treat. The Coromandel Peninsula, located in the North Island of New Zealand is home to some of the most stunning and diverse beaches, each offering its own unique charm.

As a Kiwi who has lived in Auckland most of my life, I’m very lucky to have had such easy access to the Coromandel. In fact it doesn’t feel like summer unless I’ve gone on at least one road trip here! From hidden coves with crystal-clear waters to expansive white-sand beaches perfect for sunbathing and surfing, the Coromandel has it all. If you’re a beach lover, then the Coromandel Peninsula is one of the best places for you.

In this guide, I’ll take you through my top picks for the best Coromandel beaches and share my insider tips and favourite spots with you. So, pack your sunscreen, grab your beach towel, and get ready to discover the coastal gems that make the Coromandel a must-visit destination. 

17 Best Beaches in the Coromandel Peninsula

1. Whangamata Beach

whangamata beach new zealand

Whangamata Beach is an absolute gem! It’s a pretty popular Kiwi summer destination and for good reason. The beach’s soft white sand stretches for miles so there’s a ton of room for everyone. It’s a very popular surf beach too. 

The beach is also home to a vibrant town with charming cafes, local shops, and a laid-back vibe that’s perfect for unwinding. Don’t miss exploring the nearby island or taking a walk through the bush trails. I’ve always loved visiting Whangamata over the years, there’s plenty to explore so you certainly won’t run out of things to do here. 

2. Opito Bay

opito bay

Opito Bay is a more secluded spot and is hands down one of my favourite beaches in the Coromandel Peninsula. Imagine pristine white sands and incredible clear blue water.

The best part is that this picturesque spot doesn’t really get that busy! I came here on a beautiful weekend towards the end of summer and we were the only people on the beach!

Whether you’re up for some kayaking, paddleboarding, or just soaking up the sun, Opito Bay is the ultimate spot for relaxation. And if you’re lucky, you might spot some dolphins, they’ve been known to swim into the bay from time to time! 

3. Otama Beach

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On the way out to Opito Bay is where you’ll find Otama Beach and this spot is a real hidden gem. I had never heard of it but we decided to stop here on our way out to Opito and it was soo incredible, that we ended up spending the whole day here!

The soft golden sand and crystal-clear waters are some of the best I’ve seen in New Zealand, you can’t help but go for a dip! The water isn’t as calm as Opito, there are a few waves but it’s still calm enough that you can float about in the ocean and cool off.

Pohutukawa trees line the edge of the beach which provides a good escape from the sun’s harsh rays in summer.

Like Optio Bay, Otama Beach is also pretty secluded so you won’t find any shops nearby. The closest town is Kuaotunu (which is also pretty small!) so make sure you come prepared with a picnic lunch and snacks. 

4. New Chums Beach 


Voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world, New Chums Beach is an absolute must-visit. It’s even more secluded because you can only reach this beach on foot. The walk will take you about 30 minutes one way.

It’s so worth the walk though because the beach is absolutely stunning! It’s the perfect place to disconnect and relax for the day. Make sure you don’t miss walking up to the lookout for a great view over the bay. 

There aren’t any facilities here so again you’ll want to be prepared and pack what you need for the day. It’s also important to note that you need to cross a small stream at the beginning of the walk which is best done within two hours on either side of low tide, so make sure you check the tide times and plan ahead! 

5. Crayfish Bay


Crayfish Bay is a great spot if you’re looking for something a little different. Located a short walk from Opito Bay, this beach is known for its rugged white cliffs and beautiful turquoise waters. This impressive natural rock formation gives me big Greek Island vibes!

The beach here isn’t sandy, so make sure you have a pair of jandals on you for walking along the stones otherwise prepare for some sore feet afterwards! There’s a popular rock jump here too if you like to get your adrenaline pumping.

6. Fletcher Bay

Tucked away on the northern tip of the Coromandel Peninsula, you’ll find Fletcher Bay. Not only is this spot incredibly remote but it’s also incredibly scenic. Since it’s a bit of a trek to get to, it’s the perfect beach for those wanting to escape the crowds. 

There’s a beachfront DOC campground here which are my favourite campgrounds in New Zealand because although the facilities are basic, they are usually located in some of the most beautiful parts of the country and Fletcher Bay is no exception! 

The Coromandel Coastal Walkway is a popular hiking trail that starts at Fletcher Bay and provides a lovely walk over to Stony Bay however due to storm damage some parts of the trail are closed.

Due to its remote location, there are no stores or cafes nearby so if you plan to visit Fletcher Bay you’ll want to come prepared! Spend at least a night here to fully appreciate the serene beauty.

7. Tairua Ocean Beach

This gem of a beach has it all – from golden sands to clear blue waters that are perfect for swimming, surfing and sunbathing. The vibe here is laid-back and inviting, making it ideal for unwinding and embracing the coastal charm. 

The picturesque setting of Tairua Beach is complemented by the surrounding landscape, which includes Paku Hill. A hike up Paku Hill rewards you with panoramic views of the beach, the Tairua River, and the nearby islands.

Since Tairua is a popular destination for locals, the facilities here are pretty decent and the nearby town offers a variety of dining options, cafes, and shops, providing everything you need for a day at the beach or a longer stay.

8. Cooks Beach

cooks beach camping in coromandel peninsula

Cooks Beach is a slice of paradise on the Coromandel Peninsula that you won’t want to miss. Located within Mercury Bay, this beautiful beach boasts a long stretch of white sand and calm, clear waters, making it ideal for swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding. The gentle waves make it a fantastic safe swimming spot.

Located near Hahei and Cathedral Cove, I’ve often stayed at Cooks Beach when I’ve wanted to explore these destinations over summer as accommodation is a bit more affordable here. Plus the town is a lot quieter, in a good way.

Make sure you don’t miss hopping over to Lonely Bay as well, it’s accessible via the road to Shakespeare Cliff. Look out for signs for the Lonely Bay car park. This spot is a real hidden gem!

9. Hot Water Beach

hot water beach

Hot Water Beach is a unique gem known for its natural hot springs and a visit to the Coromandel Peninsula isn’t complete until you’ve ticked off this beach. 

At low tide, dig your own hot pool in the sand and enjoy a natural spa experience right on the beach. If you haven’t got your own spade, it’s possible to rent one from the nearby shops. 

Aside from the famous hot springs, the beach itself is stunning with soft sand and clear blue waters. The surf can get pretty rough at times, and it’s not the safest spot for swimming, so if you do plan on going in the ocean, make sure you take all the right precautions. 

10. Hahei Beach

hahei beach coromandel camping

Hahei Beach is a stunning stretch of coastline with soft white sands and calm, clear waters. It’s long been one of my favourite beaches in the Coromandel Peninsula, you can’t beat a swim here on a beautiful clear day.

It’s perfect for swimming, snorkelling, or simply relaxing with a good book. Having Cathedral Cove nearby is a bonus, making Hahei a top destination for beach lovers. The town itself is pretty small but there are still some shops and yummy cafes where you can grab a bite to eat.

For those looking for an affordable getaway, booking a cabin at Hahei Beach Resort is a great option. Just make sure you book in advance because this popular campground does get booked out!

11. Cathedral Cove

cathedral cove best things to do in whitianga

When you think of iconic New Zealand beaches, Cathedral Cove likely comes to mind. Known for its stunning rock archway, pristine white sand beach, and crystal-clear waters, Cathedral Cove is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the region and is the perfect day trip from Hahei. 

You used to be able to walk to Cathedral Cove but unfortunately, this walkway is currently closed due to storm damage. The only way to reach this stunning spot now is by boat or kayak but it’s definitely worth the journey.

The waters are ideal for swimming and snorkelling, with vibrant marine life and clear visibility making it a snorkeler’s paradise. Despite the current access challenges, Cathedral Cove remains a symbol of the Coromandel’s stunning coastal beauty. 

12. Te Karo bay

Te Karo Bay, also known as Sailors Grave, is a hidden gem on the eastern coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, not too far north of Tairua. If you’re looking to escape some of the more crowded beaches then this spot is for you. 

This pristine beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing and exploring. The surrounding pohutukawa trees provide a scenic backdrop and offer some shade during the hotter parts of the day.

Facilities here are minimal so make sure you come prepared with what you need for the day and remember to take all your rubbish with you so this spot remains unspoiled. 

13. Opoutere Beach

opoutere beach camping in coromandel

Known for its untouched beauty, Opoutere Beach is another hidden gem away from the more crowded tourist spots. 

The beach features a long stretch of golden sand backed by dunes and pine forests, providing a stunning natural setting. The waters are clear, making it an ideal spot for swimming, surfing, and bodyboarding. 

The surf here is pretty consistent and suitable for all skill levels, from beginners, all the way through to experienced surfers. Thanks to its more secluded location, like a lot of the other beaches on this list, it means the facilities here are limited.

14. Pokohino Beach

Located near the town of Onemana is where you’ll find Pokohino Beach. To get here, you’ll need to walk for 20 minutes from the car park but it’s well worth the journey. The walk can be a bit steep in some places but since it’s relatively short, it’s not too strenuous. 

The beach itself is gorgeous, with crystal clear water and it’s totally unspoiled. It is however becoming a more popular spot with locals so it can get busy during peak summer months. Try to visit early in the morning if you can to enjoy the serenity of the beach before too many other people show up!

Big pohutukawa trees help provide a bit of shade making it a great beach for a picnic. There’s a cove in the rocks which can be explored at low tide too.

15. Matarangi Beach

Matarangi Beach, situated on the northeast coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, is a stunning beach town renowned for its expansive white sandy beach and crystal-clear waters. This beach is a favourite among New Zealanders, offering a perfect blend of relaxation and activities.

The beach stretches for over four kilometres, providing plenty of space for sunbathing and leisurely walks along the beach. The gentle waves and shallow waters make it an ideal spot for swimming. Surfing and paddleboarding are also popular activities here.

The facilities at Matarangi Beach are well-developed. There are public toilets, picnic areas, and plenty of parking available. The nearby village offers a range of amenities, including cafes, restaurants, and a general store, so you can easily grab a meal or stock up on supplies.

16. Pauanui Beach

pauanui beach best places to stay in coromandel peninsula

Tucked away on the eastern coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, you’ll find the stunning Pauanui Beach – it’s the kind of place that’ll quickly become a favourite. Known for its beautiful sandy shores and flashy waterways, it’s a popular Kiwi holiday spot.

The beach itself is a long stretch of soft white sand, with clear blue waters that are perfect for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. The consistent waves attract surfers of all levels and lifeguards are often on duty during peak times in the summer. 

One of the unique features of Pauanui Beach is its extensive network of waterways and canals, which are popular for boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding. There are certainly a lot of flash holiday homes in this neck of the woods! 

In terms of the town, there’s a range of shops, cafes and restaurants. The local golf course is another attraction, offering stunning views and a relaxing round of golf for enthusiasts.

17. Onemana Beach

Onemana is a beach that is often missed which means it’s often quieter than some of the other more popular beaches in the area but that doesn’t mean it’s any less beautiful. 

Known for its pristine golden sands and clear, inviting waters, Onemana Beach is an ideal spot for those looking to relax and enjoy the coast. The water is calm although if you head to the northern end of the beach you’ll find some excellent waves perfect for surfing. 

There are public restrooms, picnic areas, and a children’s playground, making it a family-friendly destination. The small community of Onemana has a few amenities, including a general store and a cafe, where you can grab a bite to eat or stock up on essentials.

Final Thoughts: Best Coromandel Beaches

And there you have it – a roundup of the best beaches in the Coromandel Peninsula! From the serene beauty of Hahei Beach and the unique experience of Hot Water Beach to the hidden paradise of New Chums Beach and the expansive sands of Matarangi Beach, each of these spots has something special to offer.

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on Opoutere Beach, exploring the marine life at Cathedral Cove, or enjoying the tranquillity of Onemana Beach, the Coromandel Peninsula is a coastal paradise with some of the best beaches in New Zealand. 

With its diverse landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and stunning white sand beaches, it’s no wonder this region is a favourite among both locals and visitors. I hope this guide has inspired you to add the Coromandel Peninsula to your travel bucket list and explore these incredible golden beaches. 

Remember, the beauty of the Coromandel is that, with so many free things to do, it offers an affordable escape to paradise – allowing you to enjoy stunning natural surroundings without breaking the bank. It’s an ideal place for beach lovers!

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