Early summer's morning at Otama Beach, Coromandel Peninsula

Otama Beach is a small north-facing pocket beach near Whitianga, on the northeastern coast of the Coromandel Peninsula. Unlike some parts of the Coromandel coast that have suffered from the coastal property boom over the years, Otama Beach is undeveloped and virtually pristine. Regarded as one of the most beautiful of Coromandel peninsula’s many beaches, Otama Beach offers exceptionally clear and inviting water, perfect for swimming, and sparkling clean quartz sand that squeaks when walked on. The beach is backed by gently sloping dunes on which dune grasses such as Spinifex and Pingao are abundant, and a wetland nature reserve, home to a number of species of native birds, lies behind the dunes.

Early summer is a good time to visit this area: the weather is often already warm and settled by mid-December but the summer holidays have not yet begun, so one may enjoy a summer-like holiday break here with this beach virtually all to themselves. Alternatively, late February or March offers a similarly peaceful holiday experience, with the added bonus of generally warmer sea temperatures as well.

Westerly storm, Muriwai gannet colony

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Peninsula

Te Werahi Beach, Cape Reinga

Sunrise at Castlepoint, Wairarapa

Beach face, Spirits Bay

Surf, Pukehina Beach

View from Lion Rock, Piha Beach

Matai Bay, Northland

Young Nick's Head, Gisborne

Whale Bay, Tutukaka Coast

Breaking wave, Tongaporutu

Sunrise, Lang's Beach, Northland

Shore platform, Mahia Peninsula

Otama Beach, Coromandel Peninsula

Shore platform, Whakataki Beach

Pingao on dunes, 90 Mile Beach

"Three Sisters", Tongaporutu