We have begun the season of the ‘lasts’- last visits here and there, last excursions, last roadtrips. New Zealand is full of beautiful places that our hearts would rather not say goodbye to.
During the final week of the summer holidays, we made what was likely our last trip to the Coromandel Peninsula (for a while anyways), in search of a beach known as ‘New Chums.’
Although hailed by The Observer in 2006 as one of the world’s top 20 beaches, New Chums is apparently a well-kept secret, even among New Zealanders. Surprisingly, many of the Aucklanders we spoke to had never visited nor heard of this beach. Perhaps this is due to the fact that it takes a bit of extra effort to get to.
Here’s our guide to reaching New Chums Beach.
From charming Coromandel town, drive approximately 10km East on Whangapoua Road road until you reach the north end of Whangapoua Beach.
With your gear on your back (and perahps a picnic lunch), cross the stream and head towards the rocks.
*The sign at the entrance of the beach states that it is recommended that New Chums not be accessed two hours before and after high tide. It turns out that it can indeed be accessed regardless of the tide; you just might get a little more wet if you choose to cross at high tide.
Carefully make your way along the rocky shoreline and around the headland. You will eventually find a marked trail which will provides a more stable tramping surface.
Follow the trail in and amongst Nikau palms and Pohutukawas for approximately 10 minutes until you come to a clearing.
Before you know it, the sound of crashing ocean waves and the sight of pristine, white sand will welcome you to New Chums.
There are no amenities at New Chums- no store, no toilets, no rubbish bins- just pure beach. Visitors must carry out what they carry in.
It was warm but overcast the day we visited New Chums, so we did not get to experience New Chums in all its full glory. We did, however, note its potential to be absolutely amazing on a warm, sunny day.
The towering cliffs surrounding the beach and the hike in and made you feel like you had reached some sort of exotic destination, far removed from society. It is a great destination for surfers- or at least those willing to carry their boards on the 30 minute hike along the rocky shoreline.
The 30 minute hike in and out is well worth the effort to spend a day, or half a day, on a perfect, unspoiled beach in your own slice of paradise.
We highly recommend you do not leave the Coromandel without a stop at the Coromandel Mussel Kitchen. This local eating establishment, located just a few kilometers south of Coromandel town, is unique in its ability to collect, cultivate, harvest, cook and serve to you, their own green lipped mussels.
We enjoyed a green thai curry mussel pot, and were very impressed with the beautiful flavours and quality ingredients present in this dish. Not being the hugest mussel fans, we thought these mussels were excellent. Probably the best we have tried in NZ. They also had a good selection of local craft beers and wines, and prices were definitely reasonable. Definitely recommend you pay Coromandel Mussel Company a visit if you are in the area!
Thanks, Coromandel, for a lovely last adventure…