Hahei & Cathedral Cove
Hahei & Cathedral Cove are located north of Hot Water Beach on the east coast of New Zealand's Coromandel Peninsula. This section of the Coromandel 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, and the waters and islands offshore have been incorporated as a protected 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.
Things to do at Hahei, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand
Hahei is a great place to enjoy the beautiful New Zealand outdoors and visitors are truly spoilt for choice with a wide range of activities and attractions on offer from scenic boat trips, guided sea kayak tours, diving/snorkelling and swimming, and some of New Zealand’s most beautiful costal nature walks including the famous Cathedral Cove walk.
You can unwind and relax on the spectacular pink sand Hahei Beach, enjoy some of our world famous New Zealand ice cream at the local store, or take the short trip to Hot Water Beach where you can hire a spade and dig your own natural thermal hot spa pool in the sand!
There are a number of excellent restaurants and cafes in and around the Hahei area and wide range of accommodation options available including camping grounds, bed & breakfasts, motels, backpackers and holiday homes. The area also has some interesting breweries, art galleries, gift shops and other various other unique spots to explore.
Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve and Cathedral Cove are both located in the area. Accessible only on foot or by boat, famous Cathedral Cove is one of the "must visit" sites on the Coromandel Peninsula. Explore the marine wildlife in the Marine Reserve or explore the wonderful coastline and take in some of New Zealand's most spectacular coastal scenery.
About Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve
Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve is located on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand covering an area of 840 hectares. Cathedral Cove is named after the cave located there, linking Mare's Leg Cove to Cathedral Cove
The area covers 9 square kilometres and in 1992 became New Zealand's sixth marine reserve. It is administered by the Department of Conservation. This site was chosen for a marine reserve because of the rich and varied habitats associated with the coastline and outlying islands. Reefs of hard rock, soft sediments, intricate caves and underwater arches provide homes for complex communities of plants, crustacea, molluscs and fish. Sheltered from the worst of the southerly winds Te Whanganui-A-Hei gives visitors and unparalleled opportunity to learn from and enjoy an unspoilt marine environment.
Cathedral Cove walk, Gemstone and Stingray Bays
Cathedral Cove walk was gifted to the nation in the 1980s by Vaughan and Doreen Harsant. The track leads down to Gemstone and Stingray Bays as well as Cathedral Cove and provides the opportunity to take in some of the Coromandel Peninsula's most beautiful coastal scenery.
The walk is open to the public anytime. The track begins at the northern end of Hahei, and takes around 90 minutes return to walk. It takes around 35mins to walk in, with Stingray Bay located around 20mins from carpark. The walk back out is about 45mins. So bring some good walking shoes and don’t forget a hat and sunscreen!
How to get to the Cathedral Cove walk
You will find the Cathedral Cove Walk at the end of Grange Road (signposted to Cathedral Cove) at Hahei on the Coromandel Peninsula. Turn left just past the Hahei shops.
Information signs are located at Hahei Beach, Wigmore Stream, Cooks Beach and Whitianga launching ramps. These signs have maps showing the reserve boundaries as well as other information about the reserve. The actual boundary is marked by large white posts placed on the islands and at each end of the mainland boundary. If you are unsure of the boundaries or want to learn more or seek additional information from the Department of Conservation.
Read more about the Cathedral Cove Walk at the Department of Conservation. Return to the homepage to learn more about living on New Zealand's Coromandel Peninsula, or visit our Hot Water Beach page to learn how you can dig your own hot pool in the sand.