Mission to Matarangi

Matarangi Travel Blog

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Still full from the Boxing Day extravaganza, we woke up early the next morning headed off to the Coromandel Peninsula.  The day before, while munching on deliciousness, Rod and I talked our friends Mel and Lise into spending their last days in New Zealand driving around the Coromandel, and then of course suggesting that since they were heading out that way anyways.... perhaps they could drive us to Matarangi? *innocent eyes blinking*

Road trip!  Well, if you can call a 3 hours drive a road trip.  Well, I kind of do.  ROAD TRIP!

We managed to head out to the popular getaway peninsula before traffic got congested and arrived in Coromandel town for lunch.  Time to eat pies!  Who doesn't love a small town, mince filled, potato-top pie on a sunny afternoon? Wash that sucker down with a cold L&P, world-famous-in-New-Zealand-since-ages-ago (a soft drink much like Sprite but tastier), and I was enjoying good ol' kiwi culture at its finest. 

From there we headed east along hwy.25 and made it to the vacation village of Matarangi.  Entirely comprised of the summer homes for Aucklanders, the place had an oddly eerie feeling to it.  We rolled in around 1pm and the place was quiet.  You know that "quiet" that can only be described as too quiet?  That quiet.  Wide empty streets, quiet homes arranged in that classic, spread out suburban manor, a slightly over cast sky, a constant cool breeze.  Clearly, this was where the Children of the Corn would live if there was any corn.

But then of course the sun shone through and happy children came skipping down along the paths and all was good and happy in the world.  I can't complain about that place!  I was camping on someone's lawn for $10 a night - that place was golden! 

In case, our friends who had rented the bach where we were camping were no where to be found.  They sent Rod a text message saying they were spending the afternoon at New Chums Beach and left the following instructions:  Go to Whangapoua and walk north for about 10 minutes.

I should have known better.  The instructions were given by the same guy who took us on a "nice bushwalk" that actually turned out to be 6 hours foraging in the wilderness sliding down steep muddy slopes, bouldering along a river, wading through marsh lands, and getting caught out after sunset.  That guy.

When we got to Whangapoua, we asked a local for instructions on how to get to New Chums Beach.  We were told to wade across the estuary (about chest deep), walk along the beach, over  the rocks and around the headland.  From there we'd see the dirt trail that climbed up and over the next headland and then dump us out at New Chums.  Wear good shoes.  Total time: about 30 minutes. 

So you'll please forgive me for the lack of photos.  The chest deep water thwarted my desire to carry my camera to the beach. 

And all of you shall now suffer the loss!  New Chums was apparently rated one of the top 20 beaches in the world (you know, one of those random lists made up by some person for some publication no one remembers).  It was totally worth the mini trek out there.  The white sand beach was secluded in a peaceful bay dotted with gorgeous puhutokawa trees and very few people.  The crystal clear water made for excellent refreshing swims, and there was plenty of shade or sun for whatever the heart desired.  This was clearly one of those hidden gems that only the locals frequented.  It was the height of peak season and there were probably only about 30 people on the entire stretch of beach. 

In all the brochures I saw advertising popular places to visit in New Zealand, or just in the Coromandel for that matter, I never saw that beach mentioned.  Not easy to get to unless you have a car, have the time to make the detour, and are willing to walk the little trail.  Of course, that will all change one day when Peter Jackson gets around to filming a movie there.  
Dr_Seuss says:
Think it counts as a ROAD TRIP :D
Posted on: Jan 06, 2010
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