Sunday, 3 July 2022

J&J Coromandel

A road trip along the Coromandel Peninsula has got to be one of the best scenic drives in New Zealand. From its pristine golden beaches, secluded bays, misty rainforests, beautiful waterfalls and cliffside views it makes it an ideal destination for a Summer escape. Just an hour and a half drive from Auckland, a Coromandel road trip is an absolute must do when exploring New Zealand’s North island.

We stayed at Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park which is located ten minutes away by foot from Hot Water Beach. For a campground, Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park blew us away! Great facilities and it's super kid friendly with playground and swing set and jumping pillow.

We got settled in and grabbed some dinner from their fish and chip shop which did amazing burgers and milkshakes before heading down to the beach to watch the sunset. We decided to stay here for two nights. One night in a powered site in our campervan right opposite the jumping pillow which Arlo loved and our second night we decided to stay in one of their deluxe villas, but more on that later. First it was time to hit the beach which was right on our doorstep!

On the property, you will find a walkway leading directly to the famous Hot Water Beach. Talk about convenience! If you are interested in bringing a shovel to make your own thermal pool, you can rent one at reception for about $5.

Here in New Zealand we are well known for having some incredible beaches and one of the best and most famous is Hot Water Beach. Hot Water Beach gets its name from the hot water that lies deep beneath the earth and trickles up forming hot areas that, with a little digging, can be turned into natural hot tubs or spas! Tip: Go at low tide as that's when it's easiest to find the hot water.

This natural phenomenon is a unique thing to do in New Zealand and unlike anything else in the world. I mean, where else can you sit metres from the sea in a natural sand-formed spa?

After a day at the beach we decided to head out for dinner and came across Tairua Beach Club Restaurant. We are so glad we decided to eat here as Jake and I both agreed this was our favourite place we ate at for our whole trip! Such a cute restaurant housed in the historic Tairua General Store building overlooking the Tairua estuary. Everything on the menu sounded mouth watering and they even did yummy mocktails, perfect for this mumma to be!

Jake got their special that evening, Wagu Beef and I got their Snapper and Prawn Ravioli. Both were delicious.

We also treated ourselves and got not one but three desserts! Affogato with lychee and passionfruit and coconut gelato, roasted banana crepes and roasted apricot with pistachio mascarpone. You can now see why we couldn't just order one! Highly recommend this place if you find yourself in the area.

Time to show you around our deluxe villa which we had booked for our second night.

I loved the look of the villas, which were exceptionally unique and eco-friendly. They have a corrugated metal exterior and smooth wooden interior. All the villas are fully self-contained with ensuite bathroom and full kitchen facilities including a BBQ and outdoor furniture on the deck. A wonderful choice of accommodation, especially for families who like to indulge a little while on holiday. We could have curled up here for days.

The next day we cooked some pancakes before going to Coromandel's most popular tourist attraction, Cathedral Cove.

It can only be reached by foot or by boat, but we recommend the first option as this is by far the most beautiful walk in the Coromandel. From the car park in Hahei, follow the Cathedral Cove track which takes you from Hahei beach, through a rainforest, alongside cliff edges with dramatic views and then down to the final reward, Cathedral Cove! Don't forget to take your camera along with you and snap a picture at the iconic and picturesque natural archway providing access to the other side of the beach.

It’s such a beautiful beach and Arlo and I enjoyed splashing about in the waves.

We even found a little waterfall of fresh water dripping from tree roots above which made a natural shower!

That evening we made our way to our final destination. Of course we had to finish this babymoon on a high and booked two nights at Coromandels Luxury Escapes Glamping, which you can find tucked away on the edge of Matarangi Harbour. This secluded tent sits on the edge of a farm, with views of the harbour and Coromandel Ranges. The main safari-style tent has a king sized bed along with a couch that you can turn into another bed if you have children. A detached cabin is home to an amazing bathroom, complete with a luxury freestanding bath overlooking the amazing view.

One of the best things about this glamping spot is the location as there is no shortage of beaches nearby to explore. Jake wanted to get in some diving while we were on holiday, but we need to make a quick stop at Wharf Rd cafe for breakfast which is worth a mention because they do hands down the best breakfasts ever!

I got their eggy bun which had soft scrambled eggs on a house made brioche bun, cheddar cheese, jalapeno jam, aioli, rocket & pickles. Yum! Jake got the famous homemade waffles with lemon curd and whipped cream. They have a beautiful outside area with seating out the back. If you're looking for the best breakfast spot in the Coromandel, this is it!

Then it was time to hit the beach. Otama Beach was a beautiful white sand beach and we felt like we had the whole place to ourselves! Jake jumped into the sea to catch us some dinner while Arlo and I enjoyed exploring the rock pools and we found some warm rock pools for Arlo to soak in. We collected some seashells before cooling off with a splash in the waves.

No trip to Coromandel is complete without a stop at the Mussel Kitchen, a family friendly cafe and restaurant that is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. I had their famous bowl of steamed mussels which was amazing and bloody delicious!

That evening we enjoyed our last evening at Coromandels Luxury Escapes Glamping and one last soak in their freestanding bath with an amazing sunset. What a way to finish off our babymoon.

Honestly, we loved this trip and we can’t wait to do another campervan trip again but next time it will be as a family of four! This was the perfect family friendly babymoon and I'm so glad we got to enjoy this time together. We both enjoyed spending this pre-baby bonding time especially with Arlo before adopting his role of new big brother!

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