Stacey Banfield

Christchurch Based Makeup Artist & Blogger

The Coromandel Aka Paradise

The first stop on our North Island Wilderness campervan adventure was the beautiful Coromandel. Like many parts of the North Island this was my first time exploring this area and I absolutely fell in love. You really do feel like your in a whole different country, the scenery is like no other.

Beautiful coastal towns, rolling hills and an ocean that stretches for miles, The Coromandel is full of little hideaways it’s no wonder the area is so popular, especially in the warmer months. On our first night in our Wilderness camper we parked up for the night at The Cathedral Cove, but before we reached the cove we stopped off at the Owharoa Waterfall and instantly fell in love.

Located near the Karangahake Gorge, it is a short walk to reach the base of the staircase like falls. These falls are super impressive, there’s something so majestic about the way the water fell that kept us there for quite some time. If your into photography and nature this is a must stop!

Upon getting our Wilderness Camper they showed us a couple of great apps to download, that show you where you are allowed to freedom camp. Honestly we couldn’t have found a more perfect spot to spend our first night. After a cosy nights sleep we woke at 5am to start our walk down to the beach, and it was one of the best moments of my life.

Being able to be the first footprints through the cove & have the beach to ourselves until well after the sun rose that morning, was a moment I won’t forget. Not only was it super romantic, but so peaceful and relaxing, I could have easily spent hours, just laying there listening to the ocean.

Soon after the sun was up the beach became a hive of activity, suddenly there were people everywhere and we knew it was time to head back up to our camper and have some brekkie. It was such a beautiful morning so we made use of the camp chairs & table Wilderness provided with our camper. We set up near by where we had parked and literally had the best view over the Coromandel Coast


Then it was time to head off to Whitianga which was about half an hour up the road from the Cathedral Cove. A stunning place with palm tree’s that sway so calmly in the wind, it was definitely a town I could call home. It is also where you will find the absolutely AMAZING Lost SpringsWe spent a couple of hours relaxing here & it was incredible, I have never been to any type of thermal spa like it.

Inspired by the Pacific Islands the 100% natural mineral water pools are to die for, from the plush robes you wander round in, to the poolside service – (YUP poolside service) you feel as if you really are in some kind of tropical retreat. This is totally a great place to go if your looking for something romantic and relaxing to do with your other half, I know that for sure we will be returning!

It was time to hit the road again in our Wilderness Camper,  this time back to spend the night at the Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park. They kindly provided us with a super cool cabin for the night, and with there being no cellphone reception at the Holiday Park it was nice to have a break away from checking my social accounts every 5 minutes.

The Holiday Park is a great place to stay as it has so much on offer, with us being there in the Winter time it was pretty quiet but I can imagine it being super packed in the Summer time with the famous “Hot Water Beach” being just up the road. Conveniently the holiday park rent out shovels so you can dig your own hole down at the beach and provide you with the best times for digging.

While we were in this area we also checked out Cooks Beach which was absolutely beautiful as well as passing through many other beautiful little towns like Pauanui, Waihi, Whangamata, and the list goes on . Due to being on a pretty tight schedule,we purposely didn’t try cram to much in,  as we wanted to have an excuse to come back and explore The Coromandel again in the coming months, for a longer length of time.

There are so many things to do in The Coromandel from boat tours, to digging your own bath on the beach, walking tracks, waterfalls and general sight seeing it is 100% one of the most beautiful places New Zealand has to offer. If you are a kiwi who is yet to visit put it on your list now!! and same goes for if you don’t currently live in NZ but are looking to make a trip over. Pick up a camper from Wilderness and hit the road- I promise you won’t forget it.


  • Thank you to The Coromandel Tourism Team and Wilderness Campers for making this trip possible.


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