Coromandel Peninsula – Road 309

We woke up to blue sky and bright sunshine and God, there are so many things we wanted to do… so negotiation started and in the end, road 309 won.

There are two routes from Coromandel Town southeast to Whitianga. The main road is the slightly longer but quicker SH25, which enjoys sea views and has short detours to pristine sandy beaches. The other is the less-travelled but legendary 309 Rd, an unsealed, untamed route through deep bush. Starting 3km south of Coromandel Town, the 309 Rd cuts through the Coromandel Range for 21km (most of which is unsealed but well maintained), rejoining SH25 7km south of Whitianga. […]

Two kilometres on there’s a two-minute walk through bush to the 10m-high Waiau Falls. A further 500m on, an easy 10-minute bush walk leads to an amazing kauri grove. This stand of 600-year-old giants escaped the carnage of the 19th century, giving a majestic reminder of what the peninsula once looked like. The biggest tree has a 6m circumference. (lonely planet)

And looking back, this Road was the right decision for today. First we saw some more Kauri trees…

Kauri Grove in the background
Siamese Kauri trees

… before walking to the Waiau Falls


where we did some Landart


before continuing towards New Chums beach, which is supposed to be one of the top 10 beaches in the world. Why? Because …Beautiful beaches are ten a penny on the Coromandel Peninsula, but New Chums stands out for its isolation. It’s actually only half an hour’s walk from Whangapoua car park, but such is the rock-hopping and scampering required that many don’t even attempt it. The reward is a beach so golden, a sea so glittering, pohutukawa trees so gnarled (and resplendent in red blooms around Christmas), that its beauty may bring a tear to your eye. What’s more, you might have it all to yourself.

And we did have it all to ourselves. It was great. But it smelled not so nice there and the waves were really high so we couldn’t let the girls just play and we had to keep an eye on the time so that we would be back before the high tide was too strong.

New Chums Beach