To reach Cathedral Cove you have to first go through Hahei Beach and then climb up the headland to get to the carpark.
This section of the Coast is a popular area, accessible from the Stone Steps Wharf at Ferry Landing and from the highway. The offshore islands provide protection for the beaches around Hahei. The waters offshore and the islands have been incorporated as a marine park and offer some excellent diving.
Hahei's attractive beach is named after the Maori chief Hei. From the lookout there is access to majestic Cathedral Cove and the marine reserve. The Te Pare point historic reserve at the southern end of Hahei Beach is the site of a pa occupied by the Ngati Hei people.
In recent times the weather has not been kind to those owning real estate here, especially those on slopes. While passing we couldn't help but notice more than a few that were no longer in a liveable state as land slides created devastation on the hillsides.
Hahei beach is a small but busy beachside resort with shops, campsite, motels etc. The sandy beach is edged with Pohutakawa trees, and the clear water, dotted with rocky islands, is great for swimming and fishing. The night we stayed here (at the excellent Hahei Beach campsite), a school of dolphins were playing and feeding in the bay.
It is a good base for exploring some of the other surrounding beaches, such as Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove. This is an area where you should spend more than a day or two if possible.
In my opinion this is one of the most beautiful beaches of the Coromandel. I truly think it is worth a visit and try to stop at the viewing point where I took this photo. That is on the road north.
You must detour from the main road north to get to Hahei, Hot Water Beach and Cooks Beach. Cathedral Cove is in this area too. But it is one small area you should not miss. Well worth the detour!!
At Hahei there is a store to buy supplies, and a nice free carpark, with easy access to the beach.
There is a camping ground here too.
This is a great place to stop on your Coromandel tour - there is heaps to do at your doorstep.
You can head to Hot Water Beach for the unique experience of digging your own natural pool. Within a certain area, naturally occurring hot water bubbles up to fill holes dug in the sand. Bring a shovel for easy digging or hire one from the Hot Water Beach Store next to the carpark.
You can also go to Cathedral Cove.
Accessible only on foot or by boat, the famous Cathedral Cove is one of the "must visit" sites on the Coromandel Peninsula. The track begins at the northern end of Hahei.
Hahei Beach eastern end is the site of an old Maori pa, Mautohe Pa, with the terracing still visible showing the Maori method of fortification. The beach is 1.5km long and is safe and particularly beautiful with clear crystal waters and an abundance of crayfish and fish. The beach is fringed with pohutukawas and drifts of "pink" shells at the northern end of the beach
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