A walking track gives access to Gemstone Bay, Stingray Bay and the beautiful sandy beaches at Cathedral Cove separated by a rock arch. Although this track is well graded, there are some hill slopes.
The track drops steadily from the car park into a valley where a side loop track takes you through a puriri grove and then back onto the main track. Alternatively, you can take a side track down to Gemstone Bay which has a bouldery beach and snorkel trail or, a little further on, another side track to Stingray Bay.
Stingray Bay has some large boulders with a beautiful sandy beach beyond. Special features are a sea cave and honeycomb weathering on the cliff face across the bay.
Back on the main track, you climb out of the valley up to a high point overlooking the coastline. Stop, catch your breath and admire the view of the offshore islands. The track then crosses pasture and scrubland before entering pine forest with a good understorey of native shrubs. From here, it is all downhill to Cathedral Cove and even though this means there is a climb back off the beach for the return journey, it is well worth it to experience the beauty of the place.
There is a walking track from the western end of Hahei beach up to Cathedral Cove car park to connect with the track to Cathedral Cove. Allow an extra 20–30 minutes for this walk.
At the end of Grange Road at Hahei on the Coromandel Peninsula. Turn left just past the Hahei shops (signposted to Cathedral Cove).
Know before you go
- Allow plenty of time, wear appropriate footwear, and take food and water with you.
- The north-western end of the beach at Stingray Bay is closed due to the danger of falling rocks and debris from the cliffs above. Visitors are advised not to use this end of the beach or adjacent waters.
- Signs and markers are in place to identify and warn people of the danger area.
- Take care when walking through the arch separating the two beaches at Cathedral Cove.
- Rockfall hazards exist in and around the arch and could occur at any time due to ongoing natural weathering and erosion.
- A management regime is in place to monitor the condition of the arch to make it as safe as possible.