If I’m not already on the beach, I’m usually researching to find my new favourite beach. New Zealand has many contenders for this title; I’ve seen stunning examples on all coasts of both islands, from the wild and surfer-friendly to the tranquil and quiet.
In general, NZ’s beaches escape the large-scale development that so plagues others around the world, and one example that has escaped even small-scale attempts is New Chums beach, on the North Island’s Coromandel Peninsula.
Other New Zealand beaches
While New Chums faces fierce competition from many other amazing beaches on the Coromandel and across New Zealand (Abel Tasman, Bay of Islands), it comes out near the top since it is only accessible by foot or boat, and that’s after you’ve used your own transport to get to the area first. It’s also not visited by large groups of people on kayak tours as some of the Abel Tasman (South Island) beaches are! Just my sort of place then, I thought, when I first heard about New Chums.
New Chums Beach
To get to New Chums, you must first drive to Whangapoua, a beach town on the north coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, a short drive off Highway 25.
Whangapoua is a lovely beach in its own right; in fact, I had a great visit here a few years before without even realising what was just around the bluff!
Getting to New Chums Beach
New Chums is the beach on the other side of Whangapoua’s left hand side bluff. Follow the rocks on the far left hand side of the beach until a path appears in the bluff.
The path will take you through the bush to the other side of the bluff – it’s a fairly easy walk, there were just a few tree trunks to climb over when I visited. I wasn’t wearing particularly good shoes (cheap lace up pumps) and I didn’t have any problems.
The overall walk (over the rocks and then on the track) takes about 35-40 minutes. Before long then, you’ll get your first look of beautiful New Chums!
Magic of New Chums Beach
Aside from the limited access, the other thing that sets New Chums apart from other local beaches is the surrounding bush.
The lush trees and foliage behind the beach is a wonderful backdrop and makes it feel more isolated. There are some lovely looking red rocks on the beach too, providing an interesting contrast with the pristine sand and clear sea.
When I visited with a friend on a sunny (and surprisingly warm) day in September, we were the only people on the beach. With thick bush surrounding the bay and no nearby noise (from roads or passing boats) it felt like we had our own secret beach.
I can imagine it’s definitely not like this during the peak of summer, but I would guess that if you visited at any other time than December/January, you’d most likely have the place to yourself. A little oasis!
A lovely place for a day visit, I’d highly recommend stopping at New Chums if you’re planning on heading up the Coromandel Peninsula. The whole area around New Chums and Whangapora is host to many fantastic (and deserted!) beaches, perfect for hopping between on sunny days.
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