We’ve been coming to Waitete Bay for 7 years now and I still haven’t penned a blog post about it. It’s not due to lack of content. I have literally hundreds of photos and so many amazing memories here. It’s because it almost feels too special. Like telling people about this magic little spot will somehow bring them all in their droves.
But I’ve figured over the 7 years we’ve been blogging that first – we’re just not that popular. And second, no matter how many beautiful photos we and others post it remains a little too off the beaten track for most people to make the effort to get to.
Now if this is not you and you’re up for a little exploring off the beaten track (and trust our opinion) then we hope to see you soon. And if you spot me up here make sure you come over and say hi. This is me (at Waitete Bay this Summer) if we haven’t met already…
Waitete Bay is nestled down a gravel road between Coromandel town and Colville. Our best directions are head up past Papa Aroha, past the big red tomato, past Anglers Lodge and then turn at the wooden sign at the sharp corner.
You’d be forgiven for missing the sign. Or missing the glimpse of the two perfectly formed bays. You may even miss the path that leads down to the first of the bays.
Maybe you are just too used to spending time over the other side of Coromandel. The side that seems to get all the press and the crowds – Whitianga, Whangamata and the like. Or maybe you have driven past so many of the road facing, stoney bays on this side of the peninsula and assumed that little beaches like this just don’t exist here.
What ever the reason I hope these pictures are enough to convince you to pop up for a visit.
If you find yourself walking the beach outside of the stats or early morning or evening (like I often do) you may well find that you have the entire beach to your self.
And even on the busiest of days you will only be sharing with a few families, dog walkers, laughing couples and lounging mates. And there’s so much space it should be the poster child for social distancing at the beach.
Where to stay
We are incredibly lucky to have James Mum’s bach right on the beach. When we first started coming here it had just one bedroom and an attic, but it’s grown over the years to have 2 bedrooms, a self contained unit and of course there is always room for caravans and tents. None of which helps you dear reader but I have a plan for you….
Just down the road (a 15 minute walk or a 2 minute drive) is Anglers Lodge. We’ve actually stayed there for James Mum’s 70th because there was too much of a tribe of us and it’s awesome.
Not only do they have real coffee (that’s one thing that isn’t handy around these parts), but they also have a swimming pool for the kids and a private spa nestled in the trees.
Or head another 10 minutes down the road to find Papa Aroha Holiday Park.
What to do
The first thing of course is the beaches!! Waitete Bay boasts two beautiful sandy beaches. The waves, if there are any, are usually pretty tame and there are rock pools at the end of both beaches to explore at low tide.
Now this I can’t guarantee this of course but in the winter months we often see dolphins in the bay. I remember looking out the kitchen window one morning in June and seeing splashes in the bay and screaming for the kids to get out there. They ended up in the freezing June water with the dolphins splashing around them. They were there for hours before deciding to head off.
Head on down to the river by the bridge and you’ll find a spot perfect for Kayaking. You can go right up the river and if the season is right find passionfruit on the way. Or jump over the fence and go hunting for blackberries – just don’t make the mistakes we did! Or jump on the rope swing that the kids made just down from the boat ramp.
There is a great walk you can do from Waitete Bay over to Colville over the hills. It takes about an hour and a half and you can read about it on our blog over here.
If you want to venture slightly further afield we can’t recommend Colville highly enough. They now boast two sensational cafes – Hereford n Pickle and The Foragers Kitchen, a well stocked general store, a shop with all your crystal and meditation needs as well as lots of great local art for sale.
Also if you visit at low tide there are cockles a plenty in one of my favourite spots in the world. Again, expect to have very little company while you are wading for cockles – which is of course just perfect. There’s some directions on how to find them here.
Further north you will find Port Jackson and Port Charles – both amazing spots for a day trip.
Or head 15 minutes south and find yourself in Coromandel with Driving Creek Railway or a little further to Water Works. Both the most quintessentially Coromandel things to do wether you are a family, a group, a couple or by yourself.
So could you spend a week here? Absolutely. You can stay just right here, or venture in a little loop around and not run out of things to do. And it won’t cost you the earth either.
Make sure you say hi when you come.