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Cathedral Cove Beach

Enter the white sand beach through a natural rock archway, the perfect frame for your photos of the rocky islands and clear waters of this marine reserve.  

New Zealand is full of spectacular scenery, and the Cathedral Cove Marine Reserve in the Coromandel Peninsular is no exception. White rock cliffs, a large pumice island, and a naturally formed archway joining Cathedral Cove Beach to Mares Leg Cove give this beach a distinct look. 

The headland here was once the site of a fortified Maori village ruled over by chief Hei. The area is known in the Maori language as Te Whanganui a Hei. Descendants of these people, the Ngati Hei continue their connection to this special place.

Cathedral Cove is only accessible by boat, or on foot through the Cathedral Cove Walking Track. The hiking trail runs from Hahei Beach through coastal scrub and pine forests, with access to Gemstone and Stingray Bays along the way. The return walk takes around 2 hours and is a little hilly, but you are rewarded for your efforts with headland vistas over the water. Wear comfortable walking shoes and take food and water for an oceanfront picnic. Amenities are provided at Cathedral Cove Beach.

Kayak to Cathedral Cove from Hahei Beach through offshore sea caves and over colorful rock gardens, encountering the local wildlife. The sunrise and sunset kayaking tours are an opportunity to enjoy the breathtaking colors on the water. There are full day tours for travelers wanting to explore further. Many of these tours provide refreshments or lunch and can be booked from Coromandel Town.

The underwater boulders and rock pinnacles around Cathedral Cove are a haven for fish and molluscs, and since the site is protected from winds, it’s the perfect spot for a snorkel. The whole marine reserve is popular with snorkelers and divers. A snorkel trail runs through stingray habitat at Gemstone Bay. Take a dive tour departing from Hahei Beach out to the deep waters and pinnacle rocks where you can swim amongst huge fish and explore the reefs.

Popular Activities at Cathedral Cove

How about making your time spent at Cathedral Cove even more special? Remember to try a few of these things to do:

Why not think about buying a Classic Half-Day Kayak Tour and a Cathedral Cove & Hot Water Beach Tour?

If you're after even more activities, examine our Coromandel things to do page.


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 100 properties near Cathedral Cove
Hahei Holiday Resort
Hahei Holiday Resort

Hahei Holiday Resort

41 Harsant Avenue, Hahei
     
    4.5
    of 5, from 133 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Located in Hahei, this beachfront campsite is in the historical district and within 1 mi (2 km) of Hahei Beach and Cathedral Cove. Stingray Bay is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) away.

    Tatahi Lodge Beach Resort ฿4,094
    Tatahi Lodge Beach Resort

    Tatahi Lodge Beach Resort

    9 Grange Road, Hahei
       
      4.5
      of 5, from 35 reviews
      3.0 out of 5.0

      Situated near the beach, this guesthouse is within 1 mile (2 km) of Cathedral Cove, Stingray Bay and Hahei Beach. Purangi Estate-The Purangi Winery and Hot Water Beach are also within 6 miles (10 km).

      Church Accommodation ฿4,800
      Church Accommodation

      Church Accommodation

      87 Hahei Beach Road, Hahei
         
        4.7
        of 5, from 110 reviews
        3.5 out of 5.0

        Situated in Hahei, this cottage is within 1 mile (2 km) of Hahei Beach and Cathedral Cove. Stingray Bay is 1.6 mi (2.6 km) away.

        Waimarie Villa
        Waimarie Villa

        Waimarie Villa

        9 Grange Road, Hahei
           
          4.7
          of 5, from 10 reviews
          3.0 out of 5.0

          Situated by the ocean, this guesthouse is within 1 mile (2 km) of Cathedral Cove, Stingray Bay and Hahei Beach. Purangi Estate-The Purangi Winery and Hot Water Beach are also within 6 miles (10 km).

          Hahei Horizon ฿5,902
          Hahei Horizon

          Hahei Horizon

          20 Grierson Close, Hahei
             
            4.6
            of 5, from 5 reviews
            3.5 out of 5.0

            Situated near the beach, this bed & breakfast is within 2 miles (3 km) of Cathedral Cove, Stingray Bay and Hahei Beach. Purangi Estate-The Purangi Winery and Hot Water Beach are also within 6 miles (10 km).

            Hahei Bed & Breakfast ฿7,264
            Hahei Bed & Breakfast

            Hahei Bed & Breakfast

            6 Jackson Place, Hahei
               
              4.7
              of 5, from 18 reviews
              3.5 out of 5.0

              Situated near the beach, this bed & breakfast is within 2 miles (3 km) of Hahei Beach, Cathedral Cove and Stingray Bay. Purangi Estate-The Purangi Winery and Hot Water Beach are also within 6 miles (10 km).

              Dawn Avenue Beach House
              Dawn Avenue Beach House

              Dawn Avenue Beach House

              , Hahei
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0

                Situated in Hahei, this holiday home is close to Hahei Beach, Cathedral Cove and Stingray Bay. Local attractions also include Purangi Estate-The Purangi Winery and Hot Water Beach.

                Hot Water Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park ฿2,269
                Hot Water Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park

                Hot Water Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park

                790 Hot Water Beach Road, Waikato, Hot Water Beach
                   
                  4.4
                  of 5, from 196 reviews
                  3.0 out of 5.0

                  Situated near the beach, this holiday park is 0.2 mi (0.4 km) from Hot Water Beach, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Hahei Beach and Cathedral Cove. Cooks Beach and Buffalo Beach are also within 12 mi (20 km).