Whangamata is a small town on the southeast coast of the base of the Coromandel Peninsula in the North Island of New Zealand. It is located 30 km north of Waihi and north of the westernmost point of the Bay of Plenty. The population has decreased with 2006 3.555 inhabitants compared to the 2001 census with a population of 3,963 at that time by more than 10\%. For the holiday season, however, the number of residents increases greatly. To the New Year celebrations in 2008 25.855 people were estimated, but this is a strong decrease compared to the 48.385 of the year 2003/2004. Off the coast there are four small islands. The largest and most northerly, Hauturu Iceland (also Clark Iceland) can be reached at low tide by wading. Whenuakura Iceland (also donut Iceland) is located about one kilometer east from the southern part of Whangamata Beach (Otahu Beach). Lived on the island until a few years tuatara. On Whenuakura Iceland there is a large collapse in sea cave, which forms a small beach inside the ring-shaped island, hence the alternative name. The southern end of the island is Rawengaiti Iceland. The small river Wentworth River leads west of Whangamata along. In the hinterland west of the town is the mountainous Coromandel Range. The place has two safe for bathing and surfing ocean beaches. Protected marinas are located in the entrance to the natural harbor Whangamata Harbor at the north end of town and in another arm of the sea at the south end. Both also serve as a bathing spot. About nine kilometers south lies the beach of Whiritoa, other beaches are located north of the village at Onemana and Opoutere. The name of the place is a Shibboleth: People who are familiar with the pronunciation of place names Māori, stress the penultimate syllable, the final "a" is a schwa (so the pronunciation Waitemata and Matamata). Whangamata but is pronounced with the accent on "a". The name comes from the Mata-stones (obsidian) that have been found on the coast, "Whanga" means "bay", "Mata" a hard stone. The Provincial Highway 25 leading to the west of the town along and connects it to Waihi in the south and the Coromandel Peninsula in the north. The Whangamata Area School is a coeducational "Kompositschule" for the 1st to 13th grade with a decile rating of 4 and 414 students (as of 01/2009).
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