Cathedral cove, New Zealand. One of the most unexpected and beautiful views that I have ever seen. Located in the Coromandel peninsula, which, is a beautiful place to drive through, it’s one of the hidden treasures of New Zealand.
The Māori name Te Whanganui-A-Hei (the Great Bay of Hei) refers to Hei, a tohunga from the Te Arawa waka. In the culture of the Māori a tohunga is an expert practitioner of any skill or art, either religious or otherwise. According to tradition, Hei chose the area around Mercury Bay as home for his tribe, proclaiming ownership by calling Motueka Island “Te Kuraetanga-o-taku-Ihu” (the outward curve of my nose). It is said he made this claim near the site of the present-day of Hahei.
Oh, and a fun fact: The cave and beach were used as the tunnel in ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian’. Unfortunately, the cove was also used as one of the locations in the music video for the song “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
How to visit Cathedral Cove
You can do a boat tour. I haven’t done this myself, but I’ve heard great things about it. Apparently if you take the morning tour the sea is at its calmest, the marine life awakens and the rising sun shines beautifully onto the volcanic coastline. If you’re interested in this, click here.
Take a walk, like I did. It’s a bit of a trick to get a parking spot, but once you’ve find it you’ll love the trail. It’s not very difficult and I really think that most people can do this quite easily. You’ll probably need about 2 hours to see the cove and do the hike (return). Also, you have numerous of other paths that you can take that will lead you to other viewing points. I would recommend that if you are passionate about hiking. And you want to get to see everything here. Keep in mind that nothing is flat in this area, so you’ll need to climb and descend a bit, but it’s all very doable. If you’re interested in this, check this out.
If you find yourself in New Zealand, don’t pass-up on the opportunity to visit this beautiful, photogenic, place. For me, this was in the top 3 hightlights of the northern island, and perhaps even number 1.