WAINUIOTOTO BAY, GENERALLY KNOWN AS NEW CHUMS BEACH)
The map marks the route from Auckland International Airport to Matarangi and on to Whangapoa Beach via Whitianga.
New Chums beach is accessed by wading across the Estuary from Whangapoa. It's a 30-40 minute walk to paradise.
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New Chums Beach is considered to be among the top 20 wild, (undeveloped), beaches in the world. This tiny beach remains an unspoiled gem but it is owned by a developer who has PLANS. Until recently not many people knew of it’s existence and I have to admit that I've never been there by foot or by boat. It's on my To Do list for this year but not until the crowds of holiday makers and tourists have gone home. I want my first visit to New Chums to be alone with John. Isn't that romantic?
On January 3rd, yesterday, Phil Koeghan of The Amazing Race, with a lot of help from his father and other local people, organised some aerial art. I wandered down to watch the fun.
All the photos except the very top one were taken at Matarangi. I wandered onto the Village Green and began taking snapshots until the camera battery became flat.
Matarangi was chosen for the message in the sand. Gathering a crowd at Matarangi is a simple matter whereas it's unlikely that a large number of people would go to New Chums Beach, where access involves a trek in.
The following quote is from the NZ Automobile Associations website of 101 things for Kiwi's to do.
About New Chums Beach
This is how locals describe New Chums Beach in the Coromandel: "I love it for its beauty, peace and tranquillity and it's such a clean beach with awesome fishing and shellfish."
And this is how the international media sees this secluded little beach: a "slice of Coromandel heaven" and a "wide swath of pale sand backed by wooded hills."
In fact, in 2006, the Observer went as far as rating this shy stretch of sand as one of the Top 20 Beaches in the World.
So just where is the beach that's reached international celebrity status, and how come many kiwis are unaware of its existence?
New Chums Beach is in Wainuiototo Bay, north-west of Whangapoua Beach and approximately 15 kilometres north-east of Coromandel township.
Reaching this beach means taking a 30-minute walk. Wading through the estuary at the northern end of Whangapoua Beach, follow the shoreline and you'll find a track that crosses the low point in the headland saddle over to the scenic New Chums Beach.
It'll be worth the walk, for you too will get to meet a stunning stretch of golden sand, fringed by pohutukawa trees and native forest, which is deserted much of the year. And you’ll see for yourself just why this little piece of paradise has hit the international limelight.
A group of people have become very active in an effort to preserve one of the last unspoiled beaches on the Coromandel Peninsula. It's become a political scoring point and attracted significant international interest. There are a number of things being worked on to save the beach and give the current owner and developer a fair deal. Unfortunately a lot of money is involved, and our Government is being asked to be a major contributor to the fund. It's easy to understand Prime Minister John Key and the Government's reluctance to fork out this money.
We are in the middle of a Global recession which makes our future unpredictable. New Zealand's economy is based on our ability to export what we produce off the land. This makes us extremely vulnerable to Global Markets. In the last few months there have been two major disasters which affect our National economy. The Christchurch Earthquake on September 4th continues to cause many financial headaches. After shocks, now numbering more than 4000, keep Canterbury on edge. The West Coast Pike Mine Disaster not only left families and friends grieving for the 29 men who died, but is a serious cause of lost income into the West Coast. There was a lucrative contract for the Pike River Mine to export coal. The total cost into the future, of these disasters, are filled with uncertainty.
After standing around with my camera for a while I ended up joining in. You can see me in the middle of the back curve of the C. I'm wearing my New Year Bling cap which we bought in Hollywood back in 2005. Bet you can't find me. *giggle*