Date: 16 October 2009
Pohutukawa, sand, BBQ’s and sunshine, all mean one thing, summer on the Coromandel Peninsula. Camping on the Coromandel has only one issue, choosing one of the fifteen Department of Conservation (DOC) campsites to stay at!
There are five beachside campgrounds on the tip of the Coromandel Peninsula, Fantail Bay, Port Jackson Fletchers Bay, Stony Bay and Waikawau Bay. All are ideal locations for relaxing, fishing, diving and swimming. One of the most beautiful walks on the Peninsula, the Coromandel Coastal Walkway, can be accessed from Stony Bay and Fletcher Bay.
There are eight campsites in the Kauaeranga Valley, all are close to the river and have access to walking tracks. The Valley has several walks ranging from 20 minutes to over night. Short walks include the Model Dam, Murrays Walk, the Nature Walk, which goes past Hoffman’s pool, and Billy Goats Landing. The longer walks include the Pinnacles, Webb Creek, Wainora Kauri Track and Billy Goat Basin. Swimming is also a big feature of Kauaeranga Valley summers, and there are several pools and sheltered swimming spots along the road that are suitable for all ages.
Broken Hills campground can be found south of Hikuai, and is a great place to camp. There is access to many walks with kauri milling and gold mining relics found along the way. Wentworth Valley has some of the most spectacular walks including Wharekirauponga and the Wentworth Falls. Dogs are welcome, but you will need to let the campground managers know when you make a booking.
Campsites are allocated at a first-come first-served basis and dogs are welcome at the Hotoritori and Booms Flat campgrounds. DOC does recommend that if you bring your dogs, that they are kept on a leash in respect for other campers. Booking is essential at Waikawau Bay and Wentworth Campgrounds over peak holiday times.
The Coromandel Peninsula is a destination for tourists and locals and is definitely one of New Zealand’s gems.