Cathedral Cove and Hahei updates
IntroductionCathedral Cove and the adjacent Hahei coastal area were severely impacted by the extreme weather events of summer 2022-23, including Cyclone Gabrielle.
The extreme weather events caused landslides and rockfall, and significant damage to the main track to the Cathedral Cove beach.
Date: 21 November 2023
We have confirmed our timetable for our work on Cathedral Cove over the next 18 months, including:
- plans for management of the site this summer
- our consideration of options
- when we expect to carry out community and stakeholder engagement.
Cathedral Cove recovery timeline (PDF, 229K) outlines the timeframes. These are indicative/estimated and our work is subject to a range of contingencies.
Landslide risk assessment report
We commissioned an independent landslide risk assessment from Tonkin + Taylor for Cathedral Cove and the area around it.
Our Visitor Safety staff reviewed the Tonkin + Taylor report within DOC’s visitor safety framework, which factors in the level of risk acceptable for different kinds of visitors.
- Tonkin + Taylor risk assessment report (PDF, 16,363K)
- DOC’s visitor risk response to the Tonkin + Taylor report (PDF, 723K)
There is an increased risk of injury or fatality at this site, from rockfall and landslides.
We strongly urge visitors to stay ten metres away from the cliffs, and not to stand or walk under the cove’s arch, where sporadic rockfall can occur. We also advise visitors avoid the beach during or after heavy rain. The risk of rockfalls and landslides is highest at these times, however, rockfalls and landslides can also occur in good weather
If you are concerned about the risk, do not visit the area.
Tonkin + Taylor’s report, and our review of it, has informed a decision to not reinstate tracks to Cathedral Cove for summer 2023-24.
Access to Cathedral Cove is from the sea, only. Visitors should not use the tracks.
Visitors should not enter the arch on Cathedral Cove beach.
The toilet at Cathedral Cove has also been decommissioned and is unavailable for use.
We have started a project to reimagine the wider Hahei visitor and conservation experience and site. This will include an exploration of options and engagement with stakeholders and the community.
This page will be updated by the project team as new information is available, proposals are formed, and decisions are made.