The Coromandel is one of the most spectacular areas of New Zealand, not the easiest of places to get around if you are nervous of narrow gravel roads with steep drop offs straight into the sea but.....oh so worth it! 
For this leg of our journey around New Zealand we based ourselves in Coromandel Town. It may seem like when heading here from Thames that you are leaving the fine trappings of normal towns behind you but Coromandel has all the facilities you could wish for and some fantastic cafe' well as the best Kebab I've had anywhere in New Zealand :-)
The coast road from Thames to Coromandel gives you hints of what is to come and is one of the most stunning coastal roads I've been lucky enough to travel. However, it's when you get north of Coromandel towards Coalville and then up to Fantail Bay etc that the scenery just blows your mind. Taking the time, as I did on quite a few occasions, to stand either at the waters edge or up on a cliff watching the sun down silhouetting a myriad of islands out to sea simply fills you with an inner peace and joy which should be prescribed to everyone so that this world would have a lot more tolerance!
This area really does have it all with tourist attractions ranging from a hand built railway at Driving Creek to a glass bottom boat in Whitianga, the amount of fish in the sanctuary this visits by Cathedral Cove is mind boggling and looking through the bottom of a boat is quite surreal. If, on the other hand, you like to get your legs moving then there are well marked tracks all over the place that a quick visit to the DoC web pages will reveal. They range from short rambles through native bush to advanced day walks that will have you traversing streams, not always successfully!, and climbing to stunning views over the Coromandel Coastline. 
We'd only intended to be in the area for a couple of weeks but have enjoyed it so much it became really is that special. Enough of my rambling, here are a few images of our travels for you to enjoy :-)
Congregation of Oyster Catchers in a bay just south of Coromandel Town
When taking your time you get the oddest visitors
The Coromandel area was home to a gold mining boon and lots of tunnels and old workings still exist to explore.
Surfing is popular on both coasts of New Zealand. I watched this paddle boarder with fascination as he worked his way out and then back on the waves without once falling in!
This white faced heron decided that if he didn't move while I was looking at him then he wouldn't be seen. I managed to get quite close before he decided I'd got quite close enough thank you and flew off.
There are lots and lots of rivers, streams and waterfalls throughout the Coromandel and they are all very peaceful locations.
Rows of post boxes like this are common in New Zealand, however, they don't all sit on the edge of an estuary like these
Sunset on the Coromandel West Coast. Great to have so many little islands to work with when deciding where to take an image
A walk on a very grey day at the top of the Coromandel led to some very moody imagery. Beautiful location no matter what the weather.
Walking the coastline around this area involves steps......lots of steps!
This Pohutakawa would have been stunning a few months earlier covered in red flowers. Still made for a great frame to the lonely island out in the sea though.
Just one of many absolutely stunning beaches along the top edge of the Coromandel. In the summer these beaches are very popular, but, in the middle of the week out of season you almost have them to yourself......bliss.
They may have been reasonably calm waters on this day but it never hurts to slow things down for a bit of creativity to engender even more peace into the location.
Just one of many spectacular sunsets we took the time to enjoy wishing walking distance of the Coromandel Town. The tide takes the sea out so far that you end up with lots of mirror like pools to play with for reflections. The seagull very obligingly stayed in place while I took this long exposure.
Meet Joe, captain of the Glass Bottom Boat Tour in Whtitanga. He had more tales and stories than your local library which made for a great and very entertaining few hours :-)
Quite amazing to see how many snapper there are in the marine reserve when you can look through the bottom of a boat!
Standing guard at the war memorial in Coromandel Town
It doesn't take too long to find yourself off of the beaten track and deep in the bush, no wonder some people get lost in these environments.
This is a very popular spot for tourists, but, early in the morning it was deserted and very peaceful
An early morning drive to Hahei Beach was rewarded when the sun rising over the mirror smooth river came into view.
First time out in a kayak and they went over this wave to get off the beach. They may well have heard the squeals in the South Island!
Hahei Beach was stunning and we had a great day here, just had to pause for a moment and enjoy the view
The Pohutakawa trees seemingly grow straight out of the rock on this amazing beach
There can't be many sheds which have such a picturesque view
It really is a photographers paradise for sunsets
Even when the sun has gone over the horizon it just continues to be spectacular and I had this view all to myself
Mussel farms are a major industry in the area and this barge was harvesting them from the ropes. All of the nutrients coming off of the mussels as they are dragged is pure joy for the local fish. There are so many fish feeding at these times that fishing boats come from all over the place and there are so many that one of the barge workers was able to scoop them out with the net!
Checking the Snapper to make sure it was the right size. Under 30cm it would have to go back......this one made it to the bar-b-que :-)
A few hours climbing through bush and crossing rivers brought us to this point at 350m above sea level. The view encompassed 360 degrees and was simply spectacular.....if a little windy at this exposed location!
More of the Coromandel coastline.....simply can't get enough of these views
Still comes as a surprise to see a tractor on a beach!
Location and light
Peace and drama of the Coromandel, even the noisy jet ski hooning around the bay couldn't detract from the magic of this location
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