Welcome to the first in our Snapshot Series.
A feature designed to give you a visual snapshot of our favourite locations across the globe.
Simply scroll down and absorb each image but be warned, this insta-essay is likely to cause a strong desire to down tools and get yourself over here.
We’re kicking off the series with Instagram snapshots of The Coromandel Peninsula.
TE TARA O TE IKA A MAUI
Known as ‘Auckland’s playground’ the Coromandel Peninsula is a rain forested spit which extends north from The Bay of Plenty and plays neighbour to New Zealand’s most populated city.
Just over a 2.5 hour drive from the big smoke and you’ll be able to dig your toes in the sands of remote beaches, hike through dense forests, to the top of a dramatic mountain range and along rugged coastal paths.
Now the more seasoned readers of Wanderlusters will know that the above description sounds like heaven to myself and Ben, so it will come as no surprise that when we were asked to house sit in one of the most spectacular parts of this natural wonderland we accepted without a second thought.
But what is it about this paradisical part of New Zealand which captures the heart of those who live and work there?
Would you like us to show you? Here are our 14 favourite moments …
Hiking in the shadow of the archaic trees which line the coast at Matapaua Bay.
Paradise found at Sandy Bay.
Peaking through the leaves and across the meadow atop the coastal cliffs by New Chums Beach.
A view across Matapaua Bay.
Ben relaxing on the grass after a hike across the rocks at Matapaua Beach.
From our base on the edge of the small village of Kuaotunu we explored much of the surrounding coastline by hiking the remote trails, driving the rugged 4×4 tracks and snorkelling in the azure blue shallows.
Each new adventure offered another location undisturbed and undeveloped. Pure heaven for Wanderlusters.
Charli paddling in the crystal clear waters of Matarangi Beach.
Driving through the dense ever-green forest on the 4×4 track to remote Waitaia Beach.
Hiking down the rugged coastal cliffs at Matapaua Bay to explore the beach below.
The hunt for scallops proves a challenge when it is discovered that the water temperature was much cooler than expected!
Although the hard work and chilled extremities proves to be worth it when sampling the fruits of Ben’s aquatic exploration.
Back on dry land and hiking out to explore a remote bay next to Sandy Beach.
The view from the top was well worth the hike. Looking down over the northern edge of Sandy Bay.
Our 4×4 explorations take us past a farm where on foot explorations reveal some inquisitive inhabitants.
One of the most spectacular sunsets we saw during our stay. The end of a fantastic day swimming at Otama Beach.
With such a range of landscapes in which to loose yourself, the Coromandel has to be one of our favourite spots within this picture perfect country.
Having spent much of our time exploring the coastline on the north eastern edge of this 85km stretch of land, our desire to spend more time here has blossomed into a bucket list certainty.
So why not escape the city and soothe your soul with a visit to the Coromandel? I know we’ll definitely be back for more.
Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for more awesome #travelgrams.
Alternately visit New Zealand’s Department of Conservation website to find the perfect place to set up camp and explore the peninsula yourself.
Have you spent time on the deserted shores of the Coromandel Peninsula? Share your thoughts and comments with us.