Driving Creek’s Top 6 Hidden Beaches in The Coromandel

The Coromandel is renowned for its picturesque golden sand beaches. Cathedral Cove, Hahei, Whangamata and Hot Water Beach are world-famous and very popular. However, The Coromandel is full of other hidden beaches that allow you to escape the crowds, so here are Driving Creek’s top 6 hidden beaches to give you a few ideas of places to visit.

While we love to share our beautiful beaches, please remember to care for them by leaving them as pristine as you found them and keep to the Tiaki Promise

Little Bay

Little Bay is a small 660 metre long beach located in between Tuateawa and Waikawau. Its charming character includes a mussel buoy with books to read and swap hanging from a pohutukawa tree, and usually a pontoon floating in the water to relax on. The bay also allows freedom camping- how unreal would it be to wake up with such a stunning view right on the water?!

Getting there:

From Coromandel Town head towards Waikawau, the drive is approximately 55 minutes. The bay is located where Tuateawa Road meets Waikawau Beach Road. Directions are available on maps too.

Opito Bay & Crayfish Bay

Opito Bay is a sandy beach with a gorgeous cove tucked just around the corner. Crayfish Bay is the perfect spot to go exploring and climb over the unique rock formations that make this bay special. The water is clear and the rockpools make it an ideal spot to swim and snorkel. The rocky ledge also makes for the perfect jumping spot. There is a small ladder attached to the sides of the rocks to help you climb back up; however, be aware of the swell and the sharp rocks while getting out of the water. 

Getting there:

From Coromandel Town, Opito Bay is a 45-minute drive. To get around to Crayfish Bay, walk along Opito Beach towards the Pa- roughly 100 metres before the end of the beach, you will see a faint track marked with a sign pointing you over the fence to Crayfish Bay. Climb over the fence and follow the grassy path across the farmland to Crayfish Bay. 

New Chums Beach

New Chums, or Wainuiototo, is a secluded beach only accessible by foot. New Chums can be busy over the peak of summer but are mostly remote the rest of the year. The journey is a combination of rock hopping and walking through native bush including an impressive grove of Nikau, New Zealand’s native palm. When you reach the beach you are greeted with insane views, white sand, clear water and shade offered by an abundance of lush pohutukawa trees. Climb up the rugged and steep track off the small saddle between Whangapoua and New Chums to the viewpoint for unforgettable coastal scenery. Take along a ball to have a friendly game of volleyball, a book to read while soaking up the sun or a hammock to sway in the trees. The waves here are thrilling so be sure to be a confident swimmer if the swell is up; however, plenty of fun is offered by this hidden gem. 

Getting there:

From Coromandel Town, drive to the nearby Whangapoua beach (roughly a 25-minute drive). Drive to the far end of Whangapoua and park in the signed area. Head along the beach, cross the stream and continue to follow the rocky shoreline until it meets the path. Follow along the track and into the bush, then down onto the beach. The walk takes approximately 30 minutes, but it is worth it for the reward waiting at the end.

Waitete Bay

Looking for a short trip out of Coromandel Town? Waitete is the perfect spot for a swim or a small escape from the town. Waitete Bay is a beautiful sandy beach hidden away from the masses. A classic Kiwi beach, great for quiet days when you want to enjoy some peace.

Getting there:

From Coromandel Town, head towards Amodeo Bay and turn left at the old sign. There's a gravel road about 200 metres long that will take you to the beautiful bay.

Port Jackson

Port Jackson is at the northern tip of the peninsula. It is where the Coromandel Coastal Walkway is based, so if you are a fan of mountain biking or hiking, this beach is for you! The incredible coastal walk takes 3.5 hours one way to Port Charles and encompasses the full beauty and remoteness by capturing the bush, farmland and coastline of the upper Coromandel Peninsula. Be prepared for an easy gradient to begin followed by short steep sections into and out of bays along the way. Stony Bay and Fletchers Bay mark the start and end points of the track and are great places to cool off after your adventures.

Getting there:

From Coromandel, follow Colville Road north to Colville Bay. From there, take Port Jackson Road to Fletcher Bay or Port Charles Road for 20 km to Stony Bay.
For more information, head to the DOC website.

Otama Beach

If you are in search of the perfect spot for a beach day, Otama is the place: glorious golden sand, pohutukawa trees offering shade and tame waves to swim or surf in for hours. Pack a picnic and take your hammock along for the ideal beach day. There is an estuary nearby for families with younger kids to splash in the shallow waters and sand perfect for building sand castles. It is one of the more accessible beaches and very family-friendly or ideal spot for a relaxed beach day.

Getting there:

Otama is located 35 minutes from Coromandel Town. Wind your way over the hill towards Whitianga and turn off onto Blackjack Road, in Kuaotunu. Keep heading along Otama Beach until you reach the far end where you can turn off into a car park and head down the beach access.

If you’re looking for more beaches go and check out https://thecoromandel.com/activities/beaches/ for a comprehensive collection of The Coromandel's many beaches.