New Chums Beach is a gorgeous secluded beach nestled in New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula. The reason it’s so secluded is you can only access it by foot which makes it a pretty special place.
It was even voted as one of the world’s top 10 beaches!
Basically you should add this beach to your summer bucket list asap. It’s definitely one of my favourite summer weekend escapes.
So what do you need to know when it comes to visiting New Chums Beach? Keep on reading to find out…
New Chums Beach Map
New Chums Beach is located north of Whangapoua Beach. You’ll need to park your car at the New Chum’s Beach Carpark in Whangapoua then make your way from there.
The New Chums Beach Lookout is located before you reach the beach so be sure to keep an eye out for that.
How to get to New Chums Beach
So we’ve already established that you can only access New Chums Beach by foot which means you need to complete the New Chums Beach walk in order to arrive at your awaited destination.
The walk is relatively easy so no need to panic.
It takes no more than half an hour one way, then you’ll be rewarded with a bit of R&R at a stunning location, and I mean STUNNING. The scenery at New Chums beach is pretty spectacular and because the beach is so untouched, it has a pretty special aura about it.
Travelling from Whitianga to New Chums Beach
The best (and easiest) way to travel from Whitianga to New Chums Beach is by car. The drive itself takes about 30 minutes and is a total of 37.7 km.
When travelling in New Zealand, a lot of the isolated locations are a bit difficult to get to using public transport so I’d definitely recommend hiring your own rental car.
If you don’t have a car, the great news is Coromandel Adventures offer a shuttle service at a pretty affordable price. It runs daily and costs $25 NZD for an adult, or $17.50 NZD for a child. It allows you to explore the key hotspots the Coromandel has to offer.
The shuttle departs from outside the Whitianga i-SITE, then stops at the Whangapoua store. Other stops include Coromandel town and Kuaotunu store.
Bookings are essential so be sure to reach out to Coromandel Adventures to book your shuttle.
Don’t even think about hiring a taxi when travelling from Whitianga to New Chums Beach, the cost will add up super quick and you’ll probably find yourself thinking, you should’ve gone with the rental car option!
Travelling from Auckland to New Chums Beach
To travel from Auckland to New Chums Beach it takes about 2 hours and 50 minutes, which sounds like a long time, but the journey is SO worth it!
You’ll cover 186 km so probably best you have your own car for this one.
It is possible to get a shuttle but you’ll only get as far as Matarangi, then you’ll need to rely on a taxi to get you the rest of the way. Alternatively you could get it to drop you to one of the Coromandel Adventures shuttle stops.
However for the combined cost of the two shuttles, you’re probably better off hiring your own car.
If you need any help planning out your journey, Rome2Rio is a fab resource!
Where to begin the New Chums Beach Walk
The New Chums Beach walk begins at Whangapoua Beach. You’ll need to park here and then make the rest of the way by foot.
Once you’re ready to set off, start walking to the Northern end of Whangapoua Beach. There are no toilets during the walk or at New Chums Beach so if you want to empty your bladder before you set off, you can do so at the end of Mangakahia Drive where you’ll find basic toilet facilities.
It won’t be too long before you reach a stream that’ll you need to cross. If you’re wearing walking shoes, probably best to take these off so you aren’t completing the rest of the trip in wet shoes.
The stream isn’t difficult to cross, most people shouldn’t have any issues. The best time to cross is two hours on either side of low tide, when the stream is the smallest.
Once you’ve crossed the stream, you’ll follow the rocky shoreline until you reach a track. The rocks can be a bit unstable so best to wear good shoes and make sure you take it a bit slower if your balance isn’t the best.
The walk gets a lot easier once you reach the track. The track is unmaintained so don’t go expecting any gravel tracks or paved paths.
Basically you’ll be able to tell you’re going the right way by following where there’s no grass growing due to being trampled, in other words, a basic dirt path (or mud if it’s been raining). Don’t worry though, it’s easy to spot and you’ll know if you’re going the right way.
Then all you do is follow this track all the way along until you reach New Chums Beach.
Don’t forget to make your way up to the lookout before you head down to the beach to relax!
The beach itself has an array of pohutakawa trees that hang over onto the sand to provide a bit of shade, perfect for those hot summer days.
No doubt you’ll probably find yourself hanging out at this deserted slice of paradise for a few hours or so.
How to find the New Chums Beach lookout
The New Chums Beach lookout is towards the end of the walk and is certainly not to be missed! It’ll be on your right before you reach the beach so keep an eye out for it.
From here you’ll get incredible views of the entire beach that expands out to the ocean.
The photos kind of speak for themselves but as usual, photos still don’t do this incredible place justice. It really is somewhere you need to experience with your own eyes so you can take it all in.
The 72m high summit is a bit steep so prepare to get a bit of a sweat on if you’re visiting in the summer months. It is also a bit more difficult to navigate than the New Chums Beach walk track but if you can do it, well you’ll certainly be rewarded with that incredible view.
Be sure to remember your camera!
What to bring with you to New Chums Beach
There are no facilities at New Chums Beach so you’ll want to be prepared. In saying that though, everything you take with you, you need to bring back. Rubbish included.
So whatever you’re thinking of taking with you, if you aren’t prepared to carry it there AND back, best not to take it.
Some of the key items to throw in your backpack are:
- Sunscreen (always necessary, even if it’s overcast! The New Zealand sun is incredibly harsh)
- Water bottle
- A good book
- Snacks or a packed lunch depending on how long you plan on staying
When to visit New Chums Beach
Honestly if you really wanted to, you could visit New Chums Beach any time of the year although I would highly recommend you save the trip for when it’s warm enough to swim.
In North Island New Zealand the summers are rather long and hot so you’ve got a pretty big window to visit.
If you can, try travel on off peak times. So avoid school holidays at all costs and try avoid the public holidays as well. Because part of New Chums Beach charm is how secluded it is, if you wind up there on a busy day or weekend, I feel like it won’t have quite the same feel.
You also might end up with a few people on the beach when you get your New Chums Beach lookout pic for the gram.
When I visited on a weekend in October, it was pretty quiet which was perfect.
If you are travelling to New Chums Beach on what you think may be a relatively busy weekend, just get up a little earlier so you beat ‘the crowds’. I say the crowds with caution here because nowhere in New Zealand gets as crowded as some of your popular international tourist hotspots but hey, you get my drift.
New Chums Beach Accommodation
Now because it’s so secluded, you can’t actually stay at New Chums Beach itself. You’ll have to settle with staying close by and then making the trip over.
The closest place to stay would be in Whangapoua and there are a few options here to suit different budgets.
In New Zealand it’s very common to book holiday homes for a weekend away near the beach. This is because some of the best beaches are located in small towns which means no hotels or motels.
You’ll find a great range of holiday homes on BookaBach, and there’s a variety of prices too.
Whangapoua Holiday Park is a perfect choice for those after something a bit more affordable.
Kuaotunu is located just 20 minutes away and is a great option for accommodation too. By staying here you’ll get to experience another gorgeous beach and cute coastal town. Luke’s Kitchen is a must visit!
If neither of those two options float your boat and staying in a slightly bigger town sounds a bit more you then Matarangi is the way to go. Here you have options like the Matarangi Resort and Harbour Drive BnB.
Can you walk to New Chums beach at high tide?
The best time to do the New Chums Beach walk is two hours on either side of low tide. This is because you need to cross a stream at the start of the walk on Whangapoua beach.
The further away from low tide you get, the wider and deeper the stream will be. If you’re prepared to get a little wet, you can probably stretch the two hour guideline a bit further but best to avoid going at high tide altogether. It isn’t recommended doing the walk two hours either side of high tide so bear that in mind.
How do you get into New Chums beach?
The only way to get into New Chums beach is by foot, or by boat if you’re lucky enough to have one. No car access is what makes this not-so-hidden gem so special (a lot of people tend to know about it now but it’s definitely still special!)
You’ll need to start the walk from Whangapoua beach and go from there. There is parking but it’s limited so if you get there early you shouldn’t have an issue finding somewhere to park.
Remember not to leave any valuables in your car. The crime rates in New Zealand are pretty low so getting your stuff stolen is rather unlikely but you never know. So it’s just better to be safe than sorry.
Can you swim at new chums beach?
Yes absolutely! You can’t make it all the way to New Chums beach and not go for a swim, that would be crime. Maybe I’ll let you off if it’s the middle of winter…but I doubt you’d be making the journey there at that time of year anyway.
I visit New Chums beach in October and I still went swimming. It was still spring so the water was pretty fresh but it was still worth it. The ocean is incredibly blue and clear, how can you not run in?
Is there New Chums Beach camping?
Nope, there are no accommodation options at New Chums Beach, camping included. Again this is because of how secluded and untouched the beach is, we want to do our best to keep it that way.
So if you’re a keen camper you’ll have to stay nearby at Whangapoua Holiday Park.
If you’re not opposed to staying a little bit further away, one of my favourite campgrounds in the area is in Kuaotunu. It’s not located too far from New Chums Beach, about a 20 min drive.
Kuaotunu Campground is located across the road from the beach and some of the campsites are next to a stream. The sunrises from here are gorgeous too!
Kuaotunu is a very small little town but it has everything you need for a nice weekend away.
Another hotspot to travel to from Kuaotunu is Opito Bay, which is a beach you can access by car and it’s just as beautiful.
Conclusion: New Chums Beach Walk
Well that’s pretty much everything you need to know when it comes to doing the New Chums Beach walk. I hope I’ve inspired you to add this place to your New Zealand bucket list asap!
With the golden sand and sparkling blue water, you just can’t go wrong.
Everyone has to experience the untouched side of New Zealand at least once and when you do, you’ll be left wanting more.
If you need ideas for some of the best places to visit in the North Island, you can read more here.