Secret beaches of New Zealand

MikkiBee is an avid traveller and loves to share her NZ experience:

New Zealand is all about getting off the beaten track. It is full of uninhabited, rugged wilderness that is begging to be explored. My favourite thing to do here is to find secret beaches or water holes. Ones that you can’t access by car and that require some effort to enjoy. Not only are you rewarded after you hike with spectacular scenery, it also means you’ve got the chance to have a beautiful stretch of golden sand all to yourself for the day.

Coromandel Peninsula has hundreds of secret beaches but I’ll let you in on one of my favourite ones. Head towards Waihi and you’ll find a little beach town called Whiritoa. It is one of those places with one sleepy shop and a surf club and that’s about it. Turn right at the surf club and go all the way to the end of the one main road, you’ll find a cul de sac with access to the main beach. It’s best to try this one at low tide because hiding inside the cliffs and bush to the far right of the beach is a secret blow hole. Not for the faint hearted, there is a tiny track making its way along the top of the cliff. As you climb stop off to take some photos because the view is amazing. Follow the path along until you hear the boom and crash of the waves. Take care because the path can be super slippery. If you walk far enough along, you will find yourself standing on the lip of a rocky basin. One side has a hidden hole that lets the ocean smash through, creating the blow hole effect. You can also swim on the other side in the waterhole it creates. For the even more intrepid, follow the track along further and you will find yourself right at the top of the cliff edge heading into a pine forest. Sure it’s a little dangerous but life is about taking risks and trying the road less travelled, right.

My second favourite secret beach isn’t really a beach. It is a natural hot water spring that is the perfect place to hang out and relax during the colder winter months. If you are anywhere around Taupo, you need to check this out. Otumuheke Stream is just out of Taupos main town. Head along Spa road towards Spa park and look for the signs to Otumuheke stream. Follow the walking track from the car park towards the Waikato river and you will find the best free hidden thermal pool in Taupo. There is a waterfall you can bathe under or take some snacks and supplies and spend the afternoon soaking in your very own natural hot tub. If you go on a weekday, you might be lucky enough to have it all to yourself.

These are just two of New Zealand’s great secret beaches, to discover more you might need to come visit and do some exploring.