The Coromandel Peninsula is a picturesque area on the North Island. Extending from the western end of the Bay of Plenty, Coromandel is home to some of the most incredible beaches in all of New Zealand, many of which are sheltered and offer gentle surf. You’ll have numerous beaches to choose from with excellent surf breaks, vibrant coral reefs, family-friendly beach areas and scenic natural wonders. Whether you want a beach trip with the kids for wildlife sightings and swimming in the shallows, thrilling adventures on the waves or anything in between, you’ll find it at Coromandel Peninsula beaches. Find out more about the best Coromandel beaches to enjoy a seaside holiday.
Whiritoa Beach for beach amenities
Whiritoa Beach is a charming beach town on Waimama Bay with a small lagoon and sandy beach. The beach is popular for surfers, and the waves break close to the sand. If you want to swim or spend time in the water with the kids, you can stay on the beach near the lagoon and walk through the bush to a scenic blowhole.
Tairua Beach for surfing
Known for its spectacular surf breaks, Tairua Beach is a popular water sports beach in the Coromandel Peninsula. The easterly swells are ideal for experienced surfers, while the lighter swells provide excellent beginner conditions. If you’re visiting with the kids, the sheltered harbour area has gentle surf, clear shallows and soft sand for little ones. The beach is located at the base of Mt Paku, where you can hike and explore the wilderness.
Opoutere Beach for beach exploration with the kids
Opoutere Beach is located on Wharekawa Harbour and provides a habitat for many species of seabirds for birdwatching. You’ll find many harbour trails and nature reserve paths to take in the scenery near the beach, even if you have a pushchair or young children The edge of the beach has rock pools that reveal unique marine life at low tide for kids to explore.
Whitianga for watersports and snorkelling
Located on Mercury Bay, Whitianga is a vibrant coastal town with some of the best beaches on the Coromandel Peninsula. You could enjoy the white sands of Matarangi or Hahei or surf the big breaks at Kuaotunu, which is home to the famous Blackjack reef area. Other activities include sailing, water skiing and jet skiing. The bay areas are known to attract playful dolphins that you can see frolicking in the water.
Hot Water Beach for a natural hot pool experience
Hot Water Beach provides a unique beach experience for travellers. At low tide, hot water bubbles through the golden sand in the centre of the beach, creating a natural spa. You can dig a hole and relax in the soothing waters and take in views of the coast. The beach is also known for excellent sunbathing, swimming and surf breaks. Nearby, you’ll find beachfront cafes and restaurants, art galleries and shops for the whole family.
Cathedral Cove for beautiful coastal walks
Known for its dramatic natural rock formation, Cathedral Cove is one of the most picturesque beaches in Coromandel. The small beach is backed by white volcanic rock, giving it a scenic atmosphere that’s great for families and couples. You can trek through the stunning white rock archway to reach Mares Leg Cove, a quiet cove area with gentle waters. Another highlight of Cathedral Cove is the Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve, which has snorkelling areas to see reefs and marine life.
Whangamata Beach for adventurous surfing
A haven for surfers, Whangamata Beach is home to one of the most incredible surf breaks in all of New Zealand on the Whangamata Bar. The end of Whangamata Beach has quiet estuaries for kayaking and paddle boarding, and the beach itself has soft sand and little wind, making it suitable for sunbathing or playing beach games. The endangered dotterel bird species nests on the edge of the beach, making it a prime birdwatching destination for kids.
Hahei Beach for family beach days
Located near Cathedral Cove, Hahei Beach is a stunning beach on the east coast with beautiful pink sand and sheltered waters that are ideal for little ones to swim. The beach is fringed with pohutukawa trees and offshore islands that create a breakwater, giving it gentle surf for swimming, boating and fishing. The marine reserve nearby has an abundance of caves and reefs with marine life to see while kayaking, snorkelling and diving with older children.