Cathedral Cove on the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand really is hands down the BEST BEACH in the world. Yeah, I know, I know this is a big statement but I’ll stand by it. I’ve been lucky enough to visit quite a few of the beaches that commonly make it through to these “10 best beaches in the world“ lists – Whitehaven Beach in Australia, Railey Beach in Thailand, Ipanema in Brazil. Still…Cathedral Cove is my number 1. Why? It simply has everything you could possibly want in a beach – sparkling clear blue water, world class snorkelling, clean white sand, deserted islands that you can see from the beach, a soaring one-of-a-kind rock cathedral and some other really interesting rock formations; including one that acts as a great jumping platform. There’s also no development so the beach is left au natural and the trees from the bush behind it provide shelter on a sizzling summer’s day.
Likewise I adore the fact that you can’t drive to this beach, Cathedral Cove can only be reached on foot or by boat which gives it a little bit of mystery. The track to the beach is clearly marked and follows a picturesque route for 40 mins (from the carpark) along the coastline weaving through New Zealand bush. It is quite short but does roll up and down continuously. There’s not much flat! The effort is definitely worth it though for the prize that’s at the end.
Also worth a look especially if you have your snorkelling gear is Gemstone Bay which you pass on the track to Cathedral Cove. This is a gorgeous little bay that obviously gets its name from the beautifully coloured, round boulders that litter the shoreline. Here you can also find four anchored buoys that have information boards floating off them under the water for you to study while snorkelling.
Are you keen to visit Cathedral Cove? The best beach in the world!
Cathedral Cove is right next to Hahei which is a 2.5 hour drive from Auckland.
If you feel like extending your walk to Cathedral Cove you can walk from Hahei Beach which takes just over an hour. Hahei Beach is also pretty amazing!
I’ve been to Hahei several times and have always been intrigued by a place called The Church. On this trip I finally got to stay there and it was fab! My review of this cottage accommodation is here. Fore more info and bookings see here.
While there I saw some people doing a Kayak tour. This looks like it would be an amazing way to see Cathedral Cove and the islands close by. See here for more details.
See more photos on my Instagram.