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Coromandel Peninsula
Thames - Coromandel - Paeroa - Whitianga - Whangamata
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Locations in the Coromandel
 - Hamilton
 - Matamata
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Coromandel RegionThe Coromandel Peninsula (Know locally as 'The Coromandel') lies in the North Island of New Zealand. It is part of the Waikato region and extends 85 kilometres north from the western end of the Bay of Plenty, forming a natural barrier to protect the Hauraki Gulf and the Firth of Thames in the west from the Pacific Ocean to the east.

At its broadest point, it is 40 kilometres wide. Almost the entire population lies on the narrow strips along the Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty coasts. The country's biggest city, Auckland, lies on the far shore of the Hauraki Gulf, 55 kilometres to the west. The peninsula is clearly visible from the city in fine weather.

The peninsula is steep and hilly, and is largely covered in subtropical rain forest. The Coromandel Range forms a spine for the peninsula rising to nearly 900 metres, and the large island of Great Barrier, which lies beyond the northern tip, can be thought of as an extension of the range.

The Coromandel Range located in the middle of the Peninsula is crossed by four roads linking the two coasts. South of the Coromandel Peninsula is the Hauraki District, once swampy plain, now supports rich dairy farming land. Gold mining history is perserved in the scenic Karangahake Gorge and the towns of Waihi, Paeroa, and Ngatea.

Although the peninsula is close to large centres of population such as Auckland to the west and Tauranga to the southeast, its rugged nature means that much of it is relatively isolated, and the interior and northern tip are both largely undeveloped and sparsely inhabited. A forest park covers much of the peninsula's interior.

Owing to the nature of the land, much of the Coromandel's population is concentrated in a small number of towns and communities along the south eastern and south western coasts.

Only five towns on the peninsula have populations of over 1000 (Coromandel, Whitianga, Thames, Tairua, and Whangamata), and of these only Thames has a population of over 5000. Several small towns dot the coast of the Firth of Thames in the southwest. Other small towns on the peninsula include Whiritoa, Hikuai, Pauanui and Colville.

The population of several of these centres is highly seasonal, with many Aucklanders having holiday homes in the Coromandel. Around the Christmas and New Year holiday period, the Coromandel is abuzz with activity, particularly in Whangamata, Whitianga and Pauanui, where youths and families from around the North Island come to spend their holiday.

The Coromandel is home to conservationists, alternative lifestylers, craftspeople who live in the towns of Thames, Coromandel, Whitianga and Whangamata.

The towns, all with heritage trails, local museums are of historical interests with fine Victorian buildings and relics of the gold mining and kauri logging days.

The Coromandel is served by various bus and coach operators providing regular daily services from Auckland, Hamilton Rotorua and Tauranga and by air with Air Coromandel from Auckland, Great Barrier Island and Tauranga.

There are no passenger train or rail services to or from the Coromandel Peninsula.

The nearest airports for domestic air services is Tauranga and Auckland and for international air services is Auckland.