Cathedral Cove is known to be the most beautiful and photographed beaches in all of New Zealand. A visit to this sanctuary is a must!

Cathedral Cove is an isolated beach on the Coromandel Peninsula in the small coastal town of Hahei. Being that this is one of the most beautiful places in all of New Zealand, you can expect some crowds. You can take your chances at finding a spot in the small lot, or there is a shuttle option that leaves from town. that takes about 5 mins.

The hike down to the beach is about 2.5 km and should only take about 35 mins. Make sure you bring some food and don't forget anything in your car cause it's entirely uphill on the return trek! You start along the ridge with unreal views of the ocean and the countless islands jutting out of the sea. You then dip into the forrest and eventually take some stairs down onto the sand. I would recommend wearing shoes though sandals are possible but your trip back up the mountain won't be as enjoyable.

There are two beautiful beaches separated by an massive rock arch easily big enough for a semi truck to drive through. The northern most beach is a bit bigger and has a huge pillar of rock standing alone on the sand, though the southern beach holds the sunlight better as it sets behind the mountain. That being said, I would recommend visiting the beach midday as that is when the sun is most present above the cove.

Properly photographing the cove is a bit tricky, being that there is uneven light both in the morning and at sunset. I suggest waiting for the sun to go down completely and for a night with some clouds which will illuminate the sky and give some color to your scene. I unfortunately did not get lucky with a proper sunset but it would definitely be worth waiting for. Enjoy!

Pack List

  • Swimsuit
  • Towel
  • Camera
  • Food
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RT Distance 3.1 Miles
Activities Stand Up Paddle, Chillin, Photography, Kayaking, Swimming, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Beach
Family Friendly
Groups
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

about 2 months ago

Busy

It's beautiful, but there are so many beautiful beaches around, so why bother with the crowds.

The Chronicles of Narnia 😍

Nuff' said.

Like Something From The Movies

Featured in the Narnia films. Simply stunning location. Good walk in. Amazing spot to swim, hangout and picnic. Superb kayaking.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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