Cathedral Cove, Coromandel
Cathedral Cove, part of a marine reserve is named for the spectacular arched cavern linking it to the next beach, which you can walk through at low tide. The sand is soft and white, the pristine Pacific waters are clear, and the cove is fringed by Pohutakawa trees. Out in the water, a short distance from the beach, is the looming Lion Rock - you can see where the water is eating away at the soft stone.
The cove is quite a walk from the village of Hahei, roughly about 40 minutes, but you get to enjoy beautiful views along the way. It is a popular spot, and in good weather you will be unlikely to have the place to yourself.
To visit Cathedral Cove you have to start in Hahei, where you will find a car park and a last opportunity for a drink. First take a look at the look-out and enjoy the rocky coast of Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve.
Follow the track, through different kind of forests and after about 30 minutes you reach a staircase, still 255 steep steps and you get to Mares eg Cove.
Just through the 'Cathedral' (a big hole in the rocks), if you are lucky with dry feet and there it is: Cathedral Cove.
A piece of paradise, so nice, so quiet, so different.
No more words, just enjoy !!!
The entry point to Cathedral Cove is sudden as you emerge from beneath a broad tree and suddenly you're there. Crisp white sands form a base from which arises chalk coloured cliffs of naturally sculpted wonder.
Though agog at the unique nature of the cove initially, the highlight for most will be the rock beyond the cave. It's truly magnetic, figuratively speaking of course. The couple of trees clinging desperately to what's left of the soil atop rock simply add to attraction. Turquoise waters lapping at its base only serve to highlight the colour of this scenic attraction par excellence.
The popularity of this place in summer can only be imagined. Where a few people were wandering about while we were there in winter, it must be packed when the sun warms the earth and I can't blame people for wanting to be there. I would certainly return if I'm in the area.
Cathedral Cove was one of three places that continually came up in conversation about Coromandel so it was with malice aforethought that I made for the extensive carpark on the cliff where one alights before commencing the half hour walk to the beach.
It was on a sparkling Sunday when we glanced across the flashing ocean tips to the islands beyond.
The well formed track wound back and forth around the headlands, at times affording rural views, at other times water glimpses.
At one stage we came to a recently lopped tree (pic 5) which you could almost believe had been removed to (a) improve the view and (b) make a poser point for tourists.
We had seen Cathedral Cove on many documentaries, so we had to see it for ourselves!
Cathedral cove is only accessible by walking or boat and it is a MUST VISIT if you feel you can handle the walk.
It is uphill and down dale, so you need to be reasonably fit without leg or knee problems. It is about 2hrs return, it seemed a lot longer than that to us!
The track begins at the northern end of Hahei and we were able to access Gemstone Bay, Mares Leg and Cathedral Cove.
A very nice area!