Hahei in the Coromandel is a bit bigger than nearby Hot Water Beach, with several restaurants and cafes, while retaining a distinctly holiday/beachy vibe. It is also one of the safest beaches on the east coast as it’s well sheltered by offshore islands. If you want to take a boat tour around the coastal marine sanctuary and islands, including Cathedral Cove, this is a good place to start from.
There is plenty of commercial camping near the beach, plus other accommodation options. It is also the gateway for the 40 to 60 minute walk to Cathedral Cove at the north end of the beach. There is also a short walk to spectacular abandoned pā sites on the Hereheretaura Point clifftops at the southern end.