Cathedral Cove│ A New Zealand Must Do
Cathedral Cove is arguably one of the most picturesque spots (and there are many!) in The Coromandel Peninsula. From beautiful Hahei Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula you can walk to Cathedral Cove. The gigantic, naturally formed archway, which passes through a white rock, joins two secluded beaches. The cathedral-like arch gives whole area an air of magnificence.
Accessible only on foot or by boat, famous Cathedral Cove is one of the “must visit” sites on the Coromandel Peninsula.
The track begins at the northern end of Hahei. The Cathedral Cove walk starts from the carpark on GRANGE Road and is approx. 1.5 hrs return walk. You can visit Cathedral Cove at anytime of the day. To walk down is approx. 35mins one way. Stingray Bay is 20mins from carpark. The walk back out is approx. 45mins. Snorkel Trail at Gemstone Bay 10min from car park.
The beach is sandy with shady pohutukawa trees along the foreshore – a perfect place for a picnic and a swim. We put our towels down in the shade of the trees, and soaked in the beauty of this area for as long as we could.
After descending down a steep staircase, you enter the beach through some low-hanging branches. To the right, the beach is covered with trees on the foreshore, and a large cliff at the end. To the left is the Cathedral Cove.
We walked through the cove, but didn’t cross over to the other beach. There seemed to be a lot more people on that side, and in order to get there, we would need to run through waves as the tide went out. Since we prefer the less crowded areas, it was an easy decision to go back to the first beach and lay in the sand there.
More than Just a Tourist Destination
The cave and beach was used as the tunnel through which the Pevensie children first re-enter Narnia in the movie version of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. More recently the cove was used as one of the locations in the music video for the song “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton.
Just off the beach at Cathedral Cove is a large pinnacle of pumice breccia rock known as ‘Te Hoho’. Over centuries this has been sculpted by wind and water – it now looks like the prow of a large ship steaming into the beach.
There was a waterfall coming off the cliff to the side of the first beach. At the bottom was a small pool, with pine cones floating in it. The water was crystal clear, but the waterfall was freezing! We got our feet wet, and then I went to lay in the sun while Justin took Eli to jump in the waves.
We highly recommend a visit to Cathedral Cove.
The 2.5 km walking trail, which is unavoidable, is absolutely worth the effort!