With summer in full swing it’s Kiwi tradition to head out of town to a beautiful beach or wander off the beaten track for walks and adventures. Coromandel is well-known as one of New Zealand’s holiday hotspots but we reckon it’s also the ultimate dining destination. We’ve found some amazing eateries from the top of the Peninsula all the way down to its southern gateway, so we recommend you get planning the ultimate summer road trip!
The Pepper Tree, Coromandel
Situated in the heart of the Coromandel Township, this restaurant offers a unique dining experience steeped in Coromandel history. Our top tip? Relax in their garden under the landmark Pepper Tree which is over 100 years old! Open seven days from 10am to 9pm you’re sure to find some beautiful menu items guaranteed to make you want to return.
Koru Restaurant Café, Thames
Heading south from Coromandel Town towards Thames, turn off along the Tapu-Coroglen Road and you’ll soon find a hidden gem – the tranquil Rapaura Water Gardens. Within the grounds is this award-winning restaurant which is open from 9am to 4pm from October through to April. With the use of fresh seasonal ingredients Koru’s dishes are full of flavour and perfect for a relaxing holiday lunch or a delicious afternoon tea. And to satisfy the biggest holiday appetite check out their Serious Steak Sandwich!
Marina Bar & Grill, Tairua
Tairua is a great base to explore the east coast of the Coromandel and after a day of fishing or sightseeing there would be nothing better than to enjoy beautiful waterfront views and delicious food at this bar and grill. Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a holiday catch up with friends this is well and truly worth a visit. Try their slow cooked lamb served with ancient grains and pea tendrils – definitely worth a mention.
Bistro at the Falls Retreat, Karangahake Gorge
The Bistro at Falls Retreat is one of Coromandel’s true hidden gems. Tucked away in the beautiful bush-clad Karangahake Gorge this is the place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse yourself in all that mother nature has to offer. Owners Brad and Emma have created a haven where you can stay over in their rustic styled accommodation and dine on their award-winning cuisine. Chef Brad King has earned a reputation as an award-wining chef and along with wife Emma they are passionate about using local and homegrown produce creating an ethical and sustainably run business. Karangahake Gorge is known as the jewel in the crown of the Hauraki Rail Trail, so be sure to add the Falls Retreat to your places to stop while you’re out on your bike.
Waihi Beach Hotel, Waihi Beach
The Waihi Beach Hotel is an icon of this small seaside town. Located a brisk walk from Waihi Beach, the Bistro offers a wonderful dining experience with a varied menu including fresh produce straight from their kitchen garden. Why not spend a night or two and book in to one of the recently refurbished rooms? Stay a few days and soak up all the sights on offer in this gorgeous region and with plenty of mouth-watering options available for breakfast, lunch and dinner you will certainly have dined well by the time you head home.
Central Park Bar & Kitchen, Katikati
Katikati lies at the southern gateway to the Coromandel Peninsula and is home to New Zealand’s largest outdoor art gallery. Guided tours of the town’s murals are available on weekends for $10 between October and March, and once you have perused the array of artworks why not stop in for lunch or dinner at Central Park Bar & Kitchen. Here you will find relaxed family dining and food packed with flavour. Our pick would have to be the New Zealand Wagyu beef cheeks served on beetroot puree with potato fondant.