Cathedral Cove is an iconic location on the Coromandel Peninsula of the North Island of New Zealand. The unique rock formations and towering, white ignimbrite cliffs, coupled with the classic beaches and surf, offers a wonderful little day hike that can be coupled with swimming and snorkeling. A Kiwi I met in Alaska had encouraged me to visit the Coromandel Peninsula, and I wasn't disappointed. This was a relaxing hike on a beautiful day, with great views the entire way.
With my kayaking trips completed, I bundled up my kayak and dropped it off for temporary storage at the van rental location in Auckland, and then set off for exploring the North Island. After a stop at the Waitomo Glow-worm Caves, and then the Otorohanga Kiwi House and Bird Sanctuary to see a live Kiwi, I headed to the Coromandel peninsula to see Cathedral Cove and the north east coastline. I arrived at the beautiful Hahei beach at mid-morning, and I was once again happy to be back near the ocean.
Although many tourists take a shuttle bus to avoid the walk to the famous Cathedral Cove, I wanted to walk the entire path, including the overlook. I stopped to educate myself about the geology of the region with a few Earth geocaches, and peeked into Gemstone and Stingray Bays. The paths were well developed and maintained, and not too crowded on this March day. Cathedral Cove did not disappoint! I lounged on the beach at the Cove and enjoyed my lunch before heading up to hike the overlook trail.
Cathedral Cove Slideshow
Highly recommended as a scenic and relaxing day hike in New Zealand. Bring your snorkeling gear, beach attire, and a lunch and make a day of it! Parking is available at Hahei beach.