Whitianga, Coromandel, New Zealand
Popular walk to one of NZ's best beaches
This route is walked by hundreds of people every day during the summer months. The objective for most people is to get to Cathedral Cove to see the rock cave, and to swim in the sea.
From the carpark at the top (most people will be dropped off by bus, but it is also possible to walk across from Hahei and join the route shown here) there is a wide, gravel track which does undulate on the way to Cathedral Cove. The short side-trip down to Gemstone Bay is hardly worthwhile (it is very rocky), and whilst Stingray Bay is nice and sandy, the bottom steps are very wet and muddy even in the height of summer.
The Puriri Grove sidetrip is well worth taking. It isn't much longer than the main track, but is narrow and rougher, but goes through pleasant bush and is the cooler route on a hot summers day.
Cathedral Cove is a lovely sandy beach, and good for swimming. The hole through the rock is a significant attraction. In summer there will also be Kayakers, water taxis and other sight-seeing boats. It will be a busy place. There are 2 toilets at the northern end which are clean and well-maintained.
Allow 30 - 40 minutes for the walk (it is slightly longer and harder than many of the tourists expect).
In summer the small carpark cannot handle the visitors. Instead, there is a carpark in a field just outside Hahei, and a shuttle-bus operates every 20 minutes ($6 per adult return). Alternatively, you can try and find another park in Hahei and walk up the hill.
7 Jan 2015 by ledzep
Download GPS path: kml