Hike to Cathedral Cove

New Zealand Cathedral Cove Trail

Added by Josh Currie

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
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

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

Share

Activities:

Chillin, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Stand Up Paddle, Swimming

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

3.1 Miles

Rating:

Features:

Beach
Family Friendly
Groups
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

about 2 months ago

The Chronicles of Narnia 😍

Nuff' said.

about 2 months ago

10 months ago

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.

10 months ago

12 months ago

Absolute Paradise

This place has it all: amazing water, white sand, fantastic views, good hikes, great sunsets...yeah, all of it and the surf around here is pretty incredible too. A must do if you are in NZed!!!

12 months ago

Added by Josh Currie

Christ | Country | Family | Filmmaker at GoPro

More Adventures Nearby

Backpack to the Waimak Falls Hut

New Zealand / Arthur's Pass Village

Begin this two night (one night option) tramping trip from the Bealey Bridge over the Waimakariri River – approximately 8 kilometers south of Arthur’s Pass.

Crystal Brindle
1 Saves

Hike the Ridge Walking Track

New Zealand / Ridge Trailhead

The trail for this hike starts next to the bathrooms that are about 150m down the road (south) from the Whakapapa Visitor Center.

Alyssa Ramirez
1 Saves

Hike to the Summit of Treble Cone

New Zealand / Treble Cone Ski Field

If you're in Wanaka, you cannot miss this hike. If the ski area is closed for the season you can still hike there but please check in with the Treble Cone Office in Wanaka.

Tobin Akehurst
3 Saves