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New Zealand Tours: Coromandel

Jan 17, 2008
When it comes to New Zealand tours, there are many options available for the intrepid travel, but few are more stunning than Coromandel. The rustic, unspoiled volcanic hills, native rainforests, and beautiful beaches have been inspiring and delighting for centuries.

The history of the Coromandel can be traced to its ancient gold mining relics, logging dams, and ancient Maori pa sites, as well as in the many historic buildings that have been preserved throughout the areas.

Coromandel was first visited by the legendary Captain James Cook in 1769, and settled by Bill Webster in the 1830s, where it served as an important trading area and ship building site. Webster employed the Maori natives to build small schooners and ready timber cargoes for shipment in the Australian market.

It was the Kauri forests, however, that truly put Coromandel on the map, so to speak. These giant trees were mined extensively from 1795 on, until it became apparent that the industry was forcing these beautiful trees to extinction. Kauri trees are now considered national treasures and protected from further deforestation.

One of the most popular Coromandel sites to see on your New Zealand tour is Cathedral Cove, a beach known for its pure white sands and beautiful native foliage, including the unique Pohutukawa trees. These large coastal evergreens are endemic to New Zealand, and are known for their brilliant red flowers and dome like spreading forms. November thorough January is the peak time to see these unique blooms, which are responsible for the trees nickname, the New Zealand Christmas tree.

While we are on the subject of unique beaches, the famous Hot Water beach is another site that is not to be missed. Located on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, this beach is so named for the underground hot springs that filter through the sand between the high and low tides.

Once you have finished relaxing and taking in the sites by the waters edge, head over to the 309 road, the main thoroughfare between Whitianga and Coromandel Town. Scenic and surrounded by farmland and native plants, and bordered by the Mahakirau stream, this meandering, tranquil gravel path will lead you to Egan Park, Kauri Grove, the stunning Waiau Falls, and the historic Chiltern Reserve.

At the nearby Waiau Waterworks, adults and children alike can enjoy the hydraulic ramp pumps, waterwheels, kinetic art, and other interesting attractions, including restaurants and unique shops.

The best thing about a New Zealand tour is that each and every trip reveals unique experiences, sights, and sounds. Coromandel is just one of the many fascinating locales that await you on your New Zealand vacation.
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