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Discover the Coromandel with Kiwi Direct Car Rentals...

Bush, beaches, surfing, spectacular scenery, swimming, snorkelling, walks and fishing - welcome to the Coromandel.

The 85-kilometre-long peninsular across the Hauraki Gulf from Auckland is far enough away to be isolated. You’ll need your Kiwi Direct rental car to explore it and you’ll need your wits - and your camera - about you on the winding roads that present a new vista around virtually every corner.

From gold mines to forest walks, this place ticks all of the boxes, and there’s even a beach where you’ll actually look forward to getting into hot water.

The gateway is Thames with its gold-mining history that saw pubs on just about every town corner, with many of them still there in one form or another as the town stages a revival. It’s also the start of the Hauraki Rail Trail.

On Thames’ back door is the beautiful Kauaeranga Valley which leads to the Pinnacles Walk and the Sleeping God Canyon adventure, while north of the town the pohutukawa-lined highway snakes its often narrow way along the coast past settlements spawned by the gold rush and forestry, to Coromandel Town.

This is the home of the spectacular narrow-gauge Driving Creek Railway that was built by a potter to transport his clay and grew into a tourist attraction that takes you to the Eyefull Tower with its spectacular views. The town is also home to The Waterworks, an innovative park with water-powered inventions.

Drive on north to the sleepy settlement of Coleville and up to Port Jackson on the peninsula’s point, or head across to the Pacific coast. If you’re up to it take the gravel 309 Road from Coromandel to Whitianga on the famed Mercury Bay, and stop and enjoy the sights and walks along the way.

As you wind your way down the Pacific coast past dazzling white-sand beaches, how could you miss Hahei with the magnificent Cathedral Cove nearby? Here you can swim, snorkel or kayak through the marine reserve and visit the limestone arch that separates two beautiful coves.

Further south there’s Hot Water Beach where you can dig yourself a pool two hours either side of low tide and relax in the warm water bubbling through the sand while the surf crashes on the beach a few metres away.

Try the surf at Whangamata before driving on to Waihi where gold is still mined, and the huge opencast Martha Mine has an interesting walk around its rim. Waihi is also the terminus for the vintage railway to Waikino nearby in the majestic, Karangahake Gorge.

If you’re into walking, park your Kiwi Direct rental car at the car park at the centre of the gorge and take the wonderful riverside tracks beneath towering cliffs, past old gold workings and through old tunnels, before trying a meal at the historic Waikino pub or drive back to a Waihi café.

And that’s just scratching the surface…