At the northern end of Hahei, on the Coromandel Peninsula, is the world famous Cathedral Cove. It is a beautiful crescent of white sand which has a large natural rock arch dividing the beach, one that you can walk through at low tide.
If you feel you recognize this place, it is most likely because you have seen this arch and surrounding rock formations in the Chronicles of Narnia and Prince Caspian movies.
The cove is only accessible by foot or boat. I personally recommend talking the scenic walk. Note, it is not easy and can take 1-2 hours there and back. The return part takes longer as it is all uphill most of the way. If you are short on time, you can book a tour that takes you from Hahei directly to Cathedral Cove by boat (around 40 minutes return). There is also the option of hiring kayaks in Hahei.
To do the walk you need to start at the top of Grange Road which is to the left of the shops as you come into Hahei.
Note: There is very limited parking available at the top starting point at the top of Grange Road. On the way up the hill there are houses that offering off-road parking in their driveway for X amount of dollars. Wait until you have actually reached the top to see if there is any parking available (which is free... though sometimes scarce, especially during the summer or on weekends).
Not far from here (a 10-minute drive) is Hot Water Beach where hot water springs seep up through the sand and you can dig out your own natural hot pool. The way is signed posted as you leave Hahei.
Photos of Cathedral Cove
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