Event Date: Throughout May
The Coromandel is believed to have been first settled by Maori around 900A.D.(approximately). Throughout the region there are numerous examples of historical palisaded pa’s (hand terraced hills used historically as fortresses to defend against attacks from foreign tribes). The area was sited by Captain Cook in 1769, and settled by Europeans from the 1830s. Its main industries involved Kauri milling and gold mining, the latter still practiced to date.
Today the region is a mixture of alternative people, affluent Auckland holiday makers and tourism operators. There are a variety of things to check out including eco retreats, health spas, arts and crafts facilities, organic farms, walking tracks, as well as tourism operators including surf schools, kayaking tours and canyoning.
This May, the Peninsular is celebrating its diversity during the annual Homegrown Coromandel festival. The festival features a variety of arts, music, and food events throughout the month.
ART PICK – ARTZ MAYNIA
The local artist community in the surf town of Whangamata is inviting people to visit them at their studios to view and discuss their works. A great way to find out more about their inspiration, and works will be on sale if you want to take a unique momento home with you. As the event takes place at a variety of studios throughout Whangamata, artists will indicate their involvement with a yellow balloon.
Where: Whangamata (East Coast, Coromandel)
When: 10am – 4pm, 1-2 May
FOOD PICK – MONTEITHS COROMANDEL CAFÉ CRAWL
This event, held in Thames, Tairua and Coromandel respectively is an opportunity for cafes throughout the region to present their dishes to you and to a panel of judges. A variety of awards are handed out during the evening, the most prestigious being the “Café Capital of Coromandel” award where the various towns throughout the region vie for supremacy. With an abundance of fantastic local produce, much or it organic, grown fresh in the region, the food will inevitably be amazing.
Event one: Thames Museum, Thames, 6pm, 4 May. $70pp. Call 07 868 8211 to book
Event two: The Cyprus Tree, Tairua, 6pm, 5 May. $73pp. Call 07 864 9040 to book
Event two: Star and Garter, Coromandel, 6pm, 6 May. $75pp. Call 07 866 8211 to book
BACKPACKER EVENT PICK
For a real “homegrown” New Zealand experience, you can’t go past the “Hahei Tractor Bash” in Hahei. The event runs over three days with the feature event on the Sunday from 10am where the tractors that have registered will parade through the town of Hahei. Judges will be watching and awards will be given in a variety of categories including best paint job, best vintage and our favourite, most extreme. There will be various food and craft stalls on the day and an Autumn swim scheduled for those keen enough to risk it.
Where: Hahei (East Coast Coromandel)
When: 1-3 May (parade is 3 May from 10am)
Cost: Free… unless you’re registering a tractor, then there is a $20 fee.
Homegrown Coromandel website for a full rundown of all events scheduled throughout the month.
GETTING TO THE CORMANDEL
The Coromandel is very close to Auckland, just under 2 hours to Thames. Simply get on to State Highway one and head south until you get to the State Highway 2 turn off ramp. Turn left on to State Highway 25 and continue east. After you cross the Thames bridge, turn left and you’re there. The Coromandel is a relatively large place. Driving around the entire peninsular takes 3-4 hours.
WHERE TO STAY
Hahei Holiday Resort
A beautiful location with epic views (featured in the opening scenes of the Narnia Prince Caspian film). Basic facilities with a communal TV room, laundry, dryroom, fish cleaning area and wireless internet.
Address: Harsant Avenue, Hahei
OTHER ACTIVITIES ON THE COROMANDEL PENINSULAR
Glass Bottom Boat Scenic Cruise – There are a number of marine reserves off the coast of the Coromandel to protect the unique wildlife in the region, this is a fantastic way to have a look-see. From Whitianga, chances to see the famous Cathedral Cove
firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings and further info
Coromandel Discover – A guided full day walk to the tip of the Peninsular with spectacular ocean views and a look back to Auckland on a clear day going through bush, farmland and coastline. Leaves from Coromandel township.
email@example.com for bookings and further info
The Lost Spring, Whitianga – A fantastic thermal facility to relax with the whole family, or perfect for a couple. As well as the thermal pools, you can treat yourself to the full spa treatment, or check out their fantastic restaurant.
COMMENT & WIN
Give visitors a hot tip about the Coromandel Peninsular in the comment section below and go in to win a fantastic Backpacker beach towel.
NEXT WEEKS BLOG…
Keep your eyes peeled next weeks BLOG, where we’ll be providing a comprehensive list of ANZAC Day memorial dawn ceremonies throughout the country.
Over & out
Ricki & the Mighty crew