Coromandel Peninsula: Narnia or New Zealand?

I never want to leave Narnia, I mean, New Zealand.

This country is insanely mind-blowing out of this world majestic to the point where it doesn’t even seem real. It’s no wonder so many movies have filmed here, including The Chronicles of Narnia. Narnia is a fantasyland, New Zealand seems like a fantasyland – it just makes sense. I think the craziest part is that every. single. corner. of this country is beautiful. I can’t even begin to count the number of waterfalls I’ve seen just driving from one place to the next, or the number of towns that are set on a lake at the base of yet another incredible mountain range with snow-capped peaks. Even rainbows seem to pop up at the perfect time. New Zealand is seriously magical.

No matter where you go you’re bound to find something beautiful and probably something you’ve never seen before. And you don’t even have to try very hard.

The Coromandel Peninsula

Situated at the tip of the North Island is yet another one of New Zealand’s incredible features. Even the drive in is just as spectacular as the destination. Like everywhere in NZ, it is filled with plenty of things to do, amazing scenery, and not surprisingly, it is home to the gateway to Narnia in The Chronicles of Narnia. I told you this place is a fantasyland. It was one of our North Island favorites [although I have a feeling I’m probably going to say that about a lot of things because NZ never seems to disappoint].

the drive in

State Highway 25/25A is one of NZ’s terrifyingly beautiful roads, winding its way along a cliffside with breathtaking views of the sea. Take the whole “State Highway” with a grain of salt, as it typically means a two lane road on the side of a mountain going about 30MPH. Fearing for your life around those 180 degree turns and taking in the views is half the fun, though. We drove from Auckland to Whitianga, with a couple of pit stops along the way.

Tairua

An adorable coastal town that makes for one of those nice pit stops. Grab a coffee, walk the beach a bit, and soak in the fact that such a tiny town in the middle of nowhere could be so pretty. Like I said, every.single.corner.

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Cathedral Cove

The infamous Cathedral Cove AKA the entrance to Narnia. I obviously couldn’t leave this out. About an hour return walk takes you to this natural wonder, a bright blue sea, and the most perfect sandy beach – what I’m saying is that it takes you to Narnia.

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Just follow the path…

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and you’ll arrive at this beaut.

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Hot Water Beach

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We were so excited about digging our own natural hot tub because, of course, there is a magical beach that is located on a hot spring so when you dig, it fills with warm water. You can see how New Zealand doesn’t seem real. Anyways, it was a chilly day, and we rented a shovel and headed to the beach. Even though it was winter, it was decently crowded. I could see everyone was huddled in one area, and there was steam rising off the water. We started to dig, but all we found was cold water. I think my boyfriend dug about 20 holes in a bunch of different places, but it only seemed to be that one area that was warm. Although we didn’t get to sit in our own private hot tub soaking in the natural warmth, it was still very cool to see, and the water in that one area was extremely warm. Make sure to go 2 hours either side of low tide, and just squeeze your way into the big “public” hot tub if you must. Check out tide times here. You can rent shovels [spades] from local cafés for $5.

[Directions: Off of State Highway 25 you’ll see a sign for Hot Water Beach. Follow Hot Water Beach Road, and signs will guide you to the natural hot springs. Make sure to follow the road to the end, and there are a couple places right near the carpark to rent spades. Or, if you just head to the beach, some nice stranger will most likely lend you one. Don’t forget a swimsuit and towel. Also off of Hot Water Beach Road is Cathedral Cove – signs will help you find your way.]

Whitianga

If exploring the Coromandel Peninsula, Whitianga is a great place to stay. It’s close to Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove and is a great little seaside town. We only stayed one night, but we absolutely loved the time we had there.

The Coromandel Peninsula is gorgeous, like you could expect anything less from NZ. After all, anything involving Narnia, beaches, good hikes, and natural hot springs is alright in my book. That pretty much sums up all of New Zealand, though…

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