Tuesday, 21 January 2020


The Coromandel's most romantic beach

We were inundated with entries into our Valentine’s Day competition we published in last week’s Informer. Readers could enter by telling us which Coromandel beach is their favourite to enjoy in the company of their loved one. In a nutshell, we were asking our readers to nominate the Peninsula’s most romantic beach.

The prize was a $100 voucher to spend with one of our advertisers. We accepted entries as comments on our social media posts about the competition, via email and by hand-delivery to our office.

The winner was drawn on Monday this week by Rohit and Sangita Ranchhod of Smart Brokers in Whitianga. Congratulations to Bob Brown and Jane Milbank, the lucky winners of the voucher. They nominated the beach at Opera Point in Whangapoua as their favourite.

Many entries were accompanied by reasons why a specific beach was a reader’s favourite. Two of the reasons stood out for us.

This is what we received from Ella Powell, who nominated Otama Beach -

If I want to swim in a deep blue sea
Otama Beach is the one for me
If my hubby who is a bit of a dish wants to catch a big fish
Otama Beach is the one for him
If visitors come and we want to show off
Otama Beach is the one they see
If we want to reflect on 35 years of love and romance
Otama Beach is the one for me.

And this what we received from Thom Dodd, who nominated Opoutere -

My wife and I immigrated to New Zealand in 1996. Living in Hahei, our landlords moved us on in mid-December to rent our place out to holidaymakers. So, we took a tiki tour.

First stop, the lovely YHA hostel at Opoutere where we were welcomed with buckets to gather pipis and cockles for tea. The next day would be Christmas and our hosts invited us to their annual “Christmas dinner for travellers.” They wanted all travellers to feel at home and part of their family over Christmas.

We woke Christmas morning to the most spectacular dawn chorus of bird song we have ever heard. Later that morning, we were all given our jobs. We harvested (garden and sea), peeled, chopped and set tables on the lawn overlooking the estuary. They were long tables, where we could all rub elbows.

At about 7:00pm our hosts appeared, carrying bottles of bubbly and roast turkeys. All the trimmings were there and we ate until the late sunset. Then out came the trifles, sticky date pudding and ice cream.

We go back to Opoutere periodically to relive this memory. Valentine’s Day is always perfect for such a visit. Sadly, the YHA hostel closed 10 years or so ago, but in the decade after our first Christmas there, we had several more Christmas experiences there.

We’re happy to offer Ella and Thom each a $50 voucher to spend with one of our advertisers also.

Almost every beach along the east coast of the Peninsula, and even Peachgrove Bay on Great Mercury Island, was nominated by our readers. Otama Beach was the clear winner, however, with more than twice the number of nominations than its nearest rivals, Matarangi and Opito Bay. Honourable mentions have to go to Lonely Bay, Matapaua Bay and Buffalo Beach. They have all done well too.

Pictured: Rohit and Sangita Ranchhod of Smart Brokers in Whitianga busy drawing the winner of our Valentine’s Day competition on Monday this week.


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