A day trip to Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove beach - a day trip to Coromandel from Auckland The last (and only) time I visited Cathedral Cove years ago, I barely even knew it existed. I’m so glad that my friends knew about it!

Whilt it was an easy outing from our base in the Coromandel then, this time around we made it a day trip from Auckland. It’s just over 2 hours one way, which, I think, is about the acceptable maximum for a day trip. I generally think you should be able to easily spend as much time at your destination as you do travelling (round trip), otherwise it’s a bit of a waste. Then again, I live in a tiny country so my standards when it comes to distance are skewed.

Everything was different from the moment we got there. Parking was impossible. Odds it’s not even worth driving up to the car park; just turn into the paddock on the right hand side off the road that’s full of cars, and take the bus up. The Cathedral Cove ‘park and ride’ shuttle bus costs just $3, and allows you to ride both there and back again.

The Cathedral Cove beach was absolutely packed – it brought to mind some European beaches – and there were so many commercial tours out on the water, from glass bottom boats to large kayaks. But I think this made me appreciate Cathedral Cove even more, somehow. Losing myself in the turquoise waters, surrounded by limestone cliffs, I felt at peace for the first time in so long. The Coromandel region sells itself as “good for your soul” – and it was.

Cathedral Cove - a day trip to Coromandel from Auckland

The one thing that was just as I remembered it? The hike. The walk from the carpark down to Cathedral Cove beach is signposted as 45 minutes, but you can nail it in half the time – we always do. It’s crazy beautiful, though, winding through forest and over clifftops with amazing views out to sea and the islands, so maybe allow some time to stop for photos. The track has some climbs and dips but nothing too taxing; you can definitely navigate in jandals, though I wouldn’t recommend bare feet.

Cathedral Cove - a day trip from Auckland

I suppose it was inevitable that such a fabulous spot would only become busier, despite its secluded location (which, I think, is a real blessing). I can’t really resent others for wanting to enjoy it, too.

8 thoughts on “A day trip to Cathedral Cove

  • Reply Esther January 16, 2015 at 21:20

    Oooh, I just love coasts like these. So beautiful!

  • Reply Gemma January 17, 2015 at 08:24

    Thank you for a lovely dose of nostalgia!! I lived in Thames on the Coromandel Peninsula in 2007-8. Sounds like Cathedral Cove has become a lot busier since then – I used to park in the car park all the time!

  • Reply Heather Cole January 17, 2015 at 08:44

    I ran through here this morning…admittedly it was on a treadmill in the gym in the UK, but it looked awesome, I’d love to visit someday 🙂 Certainly cheered up a dreary weekday morning!

  • Reply Andrea January 17, 2015 at 13:46

    Definitely need to take this day trip! I love hiking, especially when there’s a priceless reward at the end! http://nomoneywilltravel.com

  • Reply Rhonda Albom January 18, 2015 at 00:52

    Cathedral Cove is a spot I don’t know. I haven’t been out to Coromandel in years. Maybe it’s time for another adventure. We are a bit farther north than you, so we would probably spend the night. I do agree on your travel time logic. Same for flights – we like to be gone not less than one day per hour of air travel.

  • Reply The Asian Pear January 18, 2015 at 03:27

    Gorgeous photos. I can’t get how beautiful those cliffs are. O_O!

  • Reply Lauren January 18, 2015 at 14:15

    What a beautiful place! I’d love to visit! Thanks for linking up with #WeekendWanderlust 🙂

  • Reply Mary {The World Is A Book} January 26, 2015 at 10:04

    That looks absolutely beautiful! I can see why it’s worth a day trip and why it’s gotten so busy. The landscapes are so picturesque. How neat is that to spend some time in the water after a gorgeous hike.

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