Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve

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Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve
Cathedral Cove, Coromandel.JPG
View through rock arch towards Te Hoho Rock in Cathedral Cove
Map of New Zealand showing the location of the reserve
Map of New Zealand showing the location of the reserve
Location New Zealand
Coordinates 36°49′42″S 175°47′24″E / 36.82833°S 175.79000°E / -36.82833; 175.79000Coordinates: 36°49′42″S 175°47′24″E / 36.82833°S 175.79000°E / -36.82833; 175.79000
Area 840 ha
Established 1992
Governing body Department of Conservation

Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve is on the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand, covering an area of 840 hectares (2,100 acres).[1]

Cathedral Cove is named after the arch located there, linking Mare's Leg Cove to Cathedral Cove. Gemstone Bay and Stingray Bay are also within the reserve. A walking track exists from the northern end of Hahei Beach, and it is also possible to walk from the top of the headland between Hahei and Gemstone Bay. Parking is at the Visitor Car Park on Pa Road (turn right just after entering Hahei). During the summer months a shuttle service runs from the visitor car park on Pa Road to the start of the Cathedral Cove track. It only costs $5 return per person, $3 for a child and $10 for a family (2 adults 2 children). It is recommended that all visitors to Hahei Beach and Cathedral Cove use this car park. The top car park (Grange Road) is a pick up and drop off zone for the Shuttle only. Parking is prohibited at Grange Rd from the 1 October - 30 April. Limited parking is available on Grange Rd from 1 May - 30 September at $15 for 4 hours.

The area is very popular with tourists, and receives around 150,000 visitors per year.[2]

Boat and kayaking tours come from Whitianga in the north and Hahei in the south to visit the area. Both coves contain shapely natural rock stacks, Sphinx Rock in Mare's Leg Cove, and Te Hoho Rock in Cathedral Cove. Stingray Bay, and in particular Gemstone Bay, are popular snorkelling and diving areas, as marine life within the reserve boundaries is plentiful. In Gemstone Bay there is also a snorkel trail marked by the Department of Conservation.[3] Both bays are also accessible by paths leading down from the main walking path to Cathedral Cove.

The Māori name Te Whanganui-A-Hei (the Great Bay of Hei) refers to Hei, a tohunga from the Te Arawa waka.[4] According to tradition, Hei chose the area around Mercury Bay as home for his tribe, proclaiming ownership by calling Motueka Island "Te Kuraetanga-o-taku-Ihu" (the outward curve of my nose.) It is said he made this claim near the site of the present-day of Hahei.

The cave and beach was used as the tunnel through which the Pevensie children first re-enter Narnia in the movie version of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. More recently the cove was used as one of the locations in the music video for the song "Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton.

View towards Cathedral Cove from the sea
View from lookout near car park over Stingray Bay to Cathedral Cove

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Marine Reserve (Whanganui A Hei (Cathedral Cove)) Order 1992 (SR 1992/387)". New Zealand Government. 24 December 1992. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  2. ^ O'Rourke, Simon (2007-11-02). "Billionaire in coast dust-up". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  3. ^ "Snorkel trail installed early 2004", Department of Conservation
  4. ^ "Tikanga Maori", Department of Conservation

External links[edit]