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Hahei - Cathedral Cove, Waikato

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Hahei - Cathedral CoveBeginner

Submitted by Sean McWilliams

Info Info
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Trail Information







Urban fringe

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush
Open farmlands


2:00 (Slow)
1:30 (Moderate)
1:10 (Fast)



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Head from Hahei Beach car park onto the beach and take a right. Proceed along the beach until a small creek; this can generally be traversed, but if you don't feel like getting your feet wet then skirt alongside the creek for about 200m. Once on the other side of the creek head southeast and out onto the adjacent headland. This is the site of Te Pare Pa. Follow the track up to the top. There are no guard rails up there, so be careful and don't get too close to the edges. Once satisfied with the beautiful view, retrace your path and head back along the beach. Continue past the car park to the far end of Hahei Beach where you will see a signposted path entrance. This is the track leading up to the Cathedral Cove track entrance. The stairs and track can get a little bit steep (nothing to crazy though); follow the path until the junction with the Cathedral Cove main track. From here it's a simple but beautiful trot through some small stands of native bush, some open farmland, and few stairs thrown in. The side-tracks to Gemstone Bay and Stingray Bay are both well worthwhile for a look (and both have fantastic snorkeling). Once you reach the bottom, indulge in the beauty of Cathedral Cove - unless you're in a rush to get back to the start!

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Features of interest

Te Pare Pa at the southern end of Hahei beach is a very old Maori pa site.
Cathedral Cove is a world-renowned spot, and is absolutely stunning all year round.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 20%

Technical Single Track: 0%

Moderate Single Track: 30%

Easy Single Track: 40%

Gravel Road: 10%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Start at the main carpark at Hahei beach (at the end of Hahei Beach Road).

    Hahei is a cruisy 35km drive from Whitianga. A decent amount of parking to be had right at the beach, and some approx 300m up Hahei Beach Rd by the small block of shops. Be warned, this place is packed during the peak summer period (mid-December - mid-January). A shuttle bus runs from Ferry Landing if you feel like catching the ferry from Whitianga over the estuary (the ferry costs $6 return for adults and the trip takes about 5 minutes. The shuttle bus is available for booking and is $13pp each way from Ferry Landing to Hahei, or $38 all up if there are more than 3 passengers (https://allaboutwhitianga.co.nz/getting-around/cathedral-cove-shuttle for bookings).

    36 km

    34 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    It's literally impossible to get lost on this track.

    Perfect throughout.


    Water at the main Cathedral Cove car park, and at Hahei Beach (taps near the car park toilets, or the general store).

    The track to Cathedral Cove can be a little muddy / greasy after heavy rain, but nothing too serious.
    During peak tourist season (November - February), Cathedral Cove can get very, very busy. Go early in the morning or in the early evening if you want to be able to run properly.

    Stairs on the main track to Cathdral Cove can be a little slippery when wet.

  • Post run indulgence

    The Pour House
    Grange Rd, Hahei (next to the block of shops)
    Great local beer (it's the home of the Coromandel Brewing Co.), and guest taps from the likes of Garage Project, Yeastie Boys, and a host of other spectacular brewers. Also, some great food to be had.

    Hahei Beach Cafe
    3 Grange Rd, Hahei (pretty much right next to the Pour House)
    Great food and coffee!

  • Blog Posts and Articles
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