The Coromandel Peninsula – A 2021 Honeymoon Guide

So you’re planning your wedding and looking for local honeymoon inspiration in New Zealand. Well, you’ve come to the right place as we break down the in’s and out’s of a honeymoon on the Coromandel Peninsula.


The Coromandel is famous for its pristine beaches, misty forest walks and laid-back vibe. If there’s sun, there’s never a shortage of activities such as hiking to majestic waterfalls, soaking up the majestic scenery, surfing a lazy long wave, rock hopping to a world renowned beach, or simply enjoying a soak in a naturally hot pool. 

The Coromandel will make for an incredibly relaxing post-wedding break, allowing for you and your partner to reconnect. 


There’s a small domestic airport in the heart of Whitianga which has flights twice a week to Auckland during the summer, but most Kiwi’s opt to drive there, as the scenery along the waymackdes for a great start to the holiday. 

There’s also a ferry from downtown Auckland to the township of Coromandel which takes approx. 2 hours, but as a lot of the sights are spread-out throughout the Coromandel peninsula we would suggest having a car to make the most of your time there. Another option if you are wanting to go super high end is flying in by helicopter which is becoming more common.


December to February are the peak months to visit The Coromandel, it’s bustling with people out and about enjoying their summer holidays. If you want to avoid the crowds Autumn (March-May) is the best time to visit – the weather is still warm and settled with less traffic, cheaper accommodation and just as much (if not more) to do. 

In Winter the Coromandel is very quiet, making it a great place to visit if you want alone time with your partner, to hunker down, and rejuvenate the mind, body and soul.


There are many places you could stay in The Coromandel but our top locations would be: Hahei, Whitianga, Matarangi or Whangamata. Hahei for its laid back vibe, fantastic beach and accessibility to top attractions such as Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach. 

Whitianga for its accommodation options, shops, cafes, restaurants and tourist attractions. Matarangi for its glistening white sand beach and the fact it’s within driving distance to the world renowned New Chumms beach and one of the most popular cafes on the peninsula – Lukes cafe. 

And finally Whangamata for its selection of shops, trendy eateries, friendly surf beach and buzzy beach vibe. Most people either rent out a water-front bach using Bookabach or AirBnB, stay at a local Motel/apartment or at an upmarket eco-lodge in the middle of a remote forest. One thing to note is that The Coromandel isn’t the place for 5 star luxury resorts and high-rise hotels, however there are some hidden luxury lodges available if you have the budget.


There so many options to choose from, but here’s a breakdown of our favourites:

Hot Water Beach – now here’s a romantic idea, you and your newly minted spouse can have your personal hot pool to bath in literally metres from the shore break. Low tide is the best time to go, so make sure you check the tides before you pack togs and spade. While you’re there check out the Moko craft shop and have a coffee at one of the local cafes such as the garden setting at Hot Waves cafe.

Cathedral Cove – featured in movies like The Chronicles Of Narnia, the cove is one of the Coromandel’s most iconic spots. The walk to Cathedral Cove and beach takes about 30 minutes each way. There are many panoramic views to take photos against along the way, plus a lesser-known snorkelling spot (Stringray Bay) which is part of a wider Marine reserve. With white sand over white rock formations over turquoise waters, this is by far the biggest attraction of the peninsula. Enjoy a cold local beer afterwards at the popular local brewery The Pour House.

New Chums beach – voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. New Chumm’s is a golden sand beach with beautiful clear water, protected by thick native forest. To get there requires you to walk around the rocks for a good 15-20 minutes, but we guarantee it’s worth the effort! One of the most Instagrammed places in the Coromandel, as it’s very intimate and romantic. Pro tip: don’t forget to take your bikini / board shorts and a sneaky bottle of bubbles!

The Pinnacles Walk – the most famous hike on the Coromandel peninsula which can take anywhere between 2.5 – 8.5 hours depending on what track you pick. They follow a historic packhorse route used by kauri bushmen in the 1920’s. If you choose to do one of the longer walks across more than one day you will need to book a bed in the DOC hut (which houses a total of 80 beds) well in advance.

Bike the Hauraki Rail Trail – with 82kms of flat track it’s known as one of the easiest bike trials in New Zealand. It has many features such as the historic gold mining town of Thames and New Zealand’s longest tunnel at 1.1km.

Wentworth Valley Track – the 3km track leads you across two bridges to a truely insta-worthy waterfall. It will take you about 2 hours return but if you have time take a few moments to explore the two abandoned mine shafts along the track. But the real treat of the walk is the Wentworth Waterfall itself – dropping a whopping 20 metres.

Coromandel Oysters – shuck your own oysters at the Coromandel Oyster Factory located just 5-10 minutes outside the township. You’ll be seated between old fishing nets and bouey’s.

Lukes Cafe – save up a big appetite and sip the afternoon away whilst enjoying one of their famous pizzas and kumara chips.

Surfing – there are many spots to test out your skills but the most popular would be Whangamata beach or Lonely Sailors Grave beach near Tairua. Whangamata comes with the added bonus of a post-surf shopping and coffee session at one of the local eateries.

Cooks Beach – a walk to Lonely Bay and Shakespeare Cliff to see the panoramic views of Mercury Bay, the anchorage point for Captain James Cook. You can visit Cooks beach from Whitianga by catching the local ferry which takes just 5 minutes and costs $7 return.

The Lost Spring – located a short walk from central Whitianga The Lost Spring is the perfect way to spend a day relaxing in naturally warm water. We highly recommend one of their packages that includes a drink, snacks and a massage. You’re welcome! 

Pauanui – take a sneaky look through at all the mansions on the canal before going for a swim or playing one of three golf courses in the area (Lakes International, Lakes & Pines).

Queenstown – Honeymoon Perfection


There are two conversations people generally engage in after a quick trip to Queenstown: 1. “I can’t believe we waited this long to visit”, and 2. “when are we going back?”. It’s fair to say Queenstown sits atop the list as New Zealand’s premier tourist destination for a range of reasons.

To begin with, Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world, and offers a variety of world class adrenaline pumping activities such as bungy jumping, white water rafting, jet boating, canyon swinging and skydiving. For the more leisurely inclined, there’s a plethora of classy, romantic Queenstown venues set up perfectly for a memorable local honeymoon – these include cruises around Lake Wakitipu, idyllic vineyards in stunning settings, shopping in the town centre, dinner and drinks at internationally renowned golf clubs, short or multiple day hikes, hot spas with breath taking views…the list really does go on. Needless to say, if you haven’t visited Queenstown already, it should definitely be featured on your honeymoon wish list.


A short flight from Auckland (120mins), Wellington (90mins) or Christchurch (70mins) – Queenstown airport is only a 10 minute drive from the town centre. Or you could get creative and hire a camper van for a romantic road trip. There are plenty of other smaller towns worth a visit on your way in – such as Arrowtown which was established during the gold rush of the 1860s, or Glenorchy, 45 minutes from Queenstown, set against a background of native forest and spectacular mountain ranges.


There are far too many to list but our top 5 picks would have to be:

  1. Visit a vineyard. Known for its Pinot Noir, wider Queenstown is home to over 70 vineyards producing a wide range of wine varieties. Noteworthy vineyards include Gibbston Valley, Amisfield, Peregrine and Mt Difficulty.
  2. Soak in a private cedar-lined hot tub with a glass of bubbles in hand while overlooking the Shotover River canyon. Onsen hot pools is incredibly insta-worthy and the best way to enjoy a sunset in Queenstown. There’s also a tranquil day-spa if you wanted to treat yourself to a couples massage after a hard day of being a tourist.
  3. Take a ride up the iconic Skyline Gondola. Grab a bite to eat, walk one of the tracks, or if you’re feeling adventurous have a luge race down the hill…but watch out for those corners!
  4. Take your marriage to new heights and go tandem bungy jumping. The legendary Kawarau bridge bungy would be the top of our list. Go on!
  5. Take a day trip from Queenstown to the Milford Sound where you can spend the day cruising the tranquil fjord whilst gazing at all the wildlife, dramatic waterfalls and the majestic Mitre Peak. 


Queenstown has year-round appeal but the peak is during summer (December through February), when the long sunny days make outdoor excursions enjoyable. But there’s also a second peak during Winter (July through August in particular) for those who enjoy winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding at world renowned ski fields such as Cardrona and Treble Cone.


In Queenstown there’s accommodation to suit all tastes and honeymoon budgets. For views you can’t beat the QT Queenstown or Azur Lodge. For a bit of luxury Stoneyridge Estate, The Rees or Hotel St Moritz are good picks. For the budget conscious Melbourne Lodge or The Oaks Shore Resort are centrally located, great value and still has lovely views. The main thing to note is to book well in advance as a lot of accommodation books up fast, especially if there’s an event going on such as the NZ Golf Open, Winter Games, or the Queenstown Marathon.

Honeymoon Destination of the week: Waikiki, Hawaii.

Waikiki Beach, Hawaii
  • HOW: A 8-9 hour direct flight from Auckland to Honolulu. From the airport it’s about a 30-45 minute cab ride to Waikiki beach (average cost is about US$45). Air New Zealand and Hawaiian Airlines have deals and packages for Kiwis on a regular basis so be sure to plan ahead to catch a great deal.
  • WHAT: There’s plenty to do on Oahu island no matter what you’re into. Highlights include learning to surf on Waikiki beach, shopping along Kalakaua Avenue or at the gigantic Ala Moana centre, snorkelling at Hanauma Bay, visiting Pearl Harbour to see the famous sunken USS Arizona memorial, renting a mustang and cruising around the island in one day making stops at the Dole pineapple factory, Turtle beach, and Pipeline. Honestly, we could go on and on!
  • WHEN: The best months are the first three weeks in April, May, September, and October. These months are less crowded which you will appreciate when waiting for a table at the Cheesecake factory. The temperature ranges between 26-31 degrees year-round so there’s no terrible time to visit weather-wise.
  • WHERE: Where to eat? There are so many options, but the “classics” would have to be: Dukes Waikiki on the beach, Marukame Udon Waikiki (there will be a line outside), the famous Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang’s, and for a fancy night out with the locals visit Hy’s Steak House.
  • WHY: Waikiki is very much geared up for tourists which makes it a relaxing and easy honeymoon destination. You can be as lazy or adventurous as you want to be. It’s very convenient to get around once you’re there. Aim to get a hotel as close to Waikiki beach as possible (without breaking the bank!) that way most things will be a short walk or shuttle ride away. We would suggest visiting one of the other less populated islands too – like Maui, the Big Island or Kauai.

Honeymoon Destination of the week: Port Douglas, Australia.

Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas, Australia
  • HOW: A 5 ½ hour direct flight from Auckland to Cairns. We suggest a few days in Cairns first, then it’s a scenic 1 hour drive north up the coast to Port Douglas. Be sure to take in the sights and grab an ice-cream at the beautiful Palm Cove along the way.
  • WHAT: Highlights include snorkelling the Great Barrier reef (a must!), sampling the delicious local seafood, walking the Mossman George and bathing in its waterfalls, checking out the local wildlife and cane toad racing at the local Iron Bar Saloon in town.
  • WHEN: The best months are between April and October. November through to March is the stinger season (jellyfish) so extra precautions need to be made when swimming. A lot of shops and restaurants close during the off-season which is between December and January.
  • WHERE: There are many top resorts in Port Douglas but it’s hard to go past the iconic Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort which is located right on Four Mile beach. It also has its own 18 hole golf course and is situated on 2ha of saltwater lagoon pools. Truly breath-taking!
  • WHY: Port Douglas has it all – warm weather, the Great Barrier reef at its door step, exciting wildlife opportunities and also comes with the added bonus of spending some additional time in Cairns. There’s plenty to do around Cairns, including a boat trip to Green Island, the Kuranda scenic railway and sky rail and Rusty’s Market for fresh fruit and vegetables.

Honeymoon destination of the week: Bora Bora, Tahiti.

Mount Otemanu, Bora Bora, Tahiti.
  • HOW: It’s a direct 4-5 hour flight from Auckland to Tahiti’s main island, then a short 50 minute flight on Air Tahiti to Bora Bora. Most hotels arrange a ferry to greet you at the airport to take you to their hotel.
  • WHAT: Highlights include swimming with the sharks and rays (a must!), luxurious overwater bungalows, delicious French cuisine, crystal clear waters and spectacular snorkelling coral gardens.
  • WHEN: November and April – these are the short shoulder seasons either side of the peak season that offer fine weather but aren’t quite as expensive.
  • WHERE: This isn’t a cheap destination. The Four Seasons ranks the highest but we can’t fault the Conrad Bora Bora Nui.
  • WHY: Tahiti also offers many other islands of interest such as Moorea which is also spectacular but has more of a rustic vibe. It would be easy to spend 2+ weeks island hopping in Tahiti.