Slip at Cathedral Cove, February 2023
Image: DOC

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


Iconic Coromandel visitor spot Cathedral Cove has been temporarily closed to the public due to an ongoing landslip and rockfall risk.

Date:  09 February 2023

Department of Conservation (DOC) Coromandel Operations Manager Nick Kelly says a large landslip has occurred at the popular cove in the last 24 hours and, with visitor safety the priority, the path to the idyllic beach has been blocked to prevent access.

“Cathedral Cove is prone to rockfall and erosion during and after weather events like the ones we’ve seen over the last month,” he says.

“We consistently monitor the geology at the site, and we are concerned the large landslip that has occurred in the last 24 hours signals a greater chance of more erosion there.

“The slip is active with more material falling to the beach.”

Nick Kelly says DOC is arranging for geotechnical engineers to visit and assess the site – but that work will take time to arrange and undertake.

With Cyclone Gabrielle predicted to hit the North Island next week, potentially packing heavy rain and gale-force winds, Cathedral Cove will be closed for at least a week and possibly longer. There is no reopening target date at this point.

“This is not a decision we’ve taken lightly,” Nick Kelly says. “We appreciate how popular Cathedral Cove is with visitors and our community, but the risk of landslide, combined with more wild weather, leaves us with no choice.”

Commercial operators who take visitors to Cathedral Cove have been asked not to land on the beach until further notice. Boaties can still enjoy the Whanganui a Hei Marine Reserve around the cove. They are urged to exercise caution and be up to date with weather forecasts and expected high sea swells.

“Our message here is simple: stay away from Cathedral Cove for your own safety,” Nick Kelly says.

Cathedral Cove receives up to 200,000 visitors a year.

Visitors should keep an eye on the dedicated page of the DOC website for weather-related updates: Severe weather

Road updates for Coromandel are available from Thames Coromandel District Council and the Waka Kotahi.


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