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(Whangamata - say fahngamata)
On your way south take in a wee 20 min walk through the forest in the Wharekawa Wildlife Reserve. The track will take you to the intense white sands of the beach which is set off by the flaming red of the pohutukawa trees in summer. Right ahead is a marvellous view of Slipper Island. Whangamata provides a surfers paradise in the form of 4km long Ocean Beach. The beach is a quarter moon which stretches from th Otahu River mouth to the harbour where the waves break.
If you're not really into surfing, boogie boarding or windsurfing, you can always take a walk to Wentworth Falls (10km/2hours/return). To get there head south on the SH25 for 2km and turn off at the Wentworth Valley Road. You'll find the beginning of the track near the campsite at the end of the road. The fall is superb.
Kiwi Dundee Adventures
This is one tour which comes highly recommended by all. Your guides are conservationists who will take you on an enlightening adventure in the Coromandel entertaining you with details of Maori medicines, history, geology and natural history while you take in the glow worms, lush bush and gold mines. (1-5 day tours with pick-ups from Pauanui and Tairua. Tel: 07 865 8809).