Cathedral Cove damage
Image: Ainsley Harris | DOC


DOC has announced the options being explored to reinstate walking access to Coromandel’s Cathedral Cove.

Date:  30 April 2024

The popular walking track to the picturesque beach has been closed since February 2023, due to damage caused by extreme weather events.

DOC’s Hauraki Waikato Taranaki Regional Director Tinaka Mearns says the land across the reserve has continued to move since the initial storms.

“The continued land movement has made it challenging to identify a simple walking solution at a level of risk acceptable for the type of casual visitor who generally goes there,” Tinaka says.

“What we’ve worked to produce is a suite of possible options which cover reinstatement of walking access to the beach and also entrance to the recreation reserve.”

For walking access to the beach, three options are under consideration – one is a short-term fix which would see construction of new steps and a boardwalk to reinstate a section of the existing track, while the two others would be long-term repairs involving installation of new infrastructure.

The two long-term options would require significant investment and also the installation of a new potentially cantilevered staircase and steps to the beach - and therefore take longer to design, procure and complete.

“Upholding the values of Ngāti Hei has been a key factor as we work through the options. Alignment with several pieces of conservation legislation, and community perspectives provides both great opportunity and creates a shared awareness for compromise.

“As an example, we’ve had to examine pros and cons for each of these options and also factor in an historic pā site which is significant to Ngāti Hei,” Tinaka says.

Other options explored as part of the development work include visitor entry points from the Hahei Short Walk, making best use of an existing entrance at Grange Rd, and whether access over adjacent farmland is feasible.

“We need to balance out aspects including costs and investment risk, resilience against future weather events, as well reducing the environmental and social impacts on what has been a heavily visited site.”

A presentation giving an overview of the options being explored has been added to the DOC website Cathedral Cove and Hahei updates web page.


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