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Cruising Coromandel Peninsula

The rugged, 40-mile long Coromandel Peninsula juts into the Bay of Plenty on New Zealand’s North Island, protecting the Hauraki Gulf from the Pacific Ocean. Its steep, hilly terrain topped by the tall Coromandel Range peaks, has kept it sparsely populated, even though it is visible from Auckland. Picturesque islands dot the coastline. It is about 40 miles wide at its widest point, but the seasonal population of holiday-makers is mostly concentrated right along both shores. It was named for the HMS Coromandel, a Royal Navy ship that called there in 1820 to take on kauri-wood spars, which was itself named for India’s Coromandel coast.