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Kiwi beach named among world’s best, despite being closed to public

Author
Thomas Bywater,
Publish Date
Thu, 2 May 2024, 1:42pm
Cathedral Cove is still accessible by boat and Kayak tour. Photo / Andy Belcher; Supplied, The Coromandel
Cathedral Cove is still accessible by boat and Kayak tour. Photo / Andy Belcher; Supplied, The Coromandel

Kiwi beach named among world’s best, despite being closed to public

Author
Thomas Bywater,
Publish Date
Thu, 2 May 2024, 1:42pm

An instantly recognisable beach in the Coromandel coast has been named as one of the world’s best.  

The sole Kiwi inclusion on the 50 Best Beach List, the cavernous Cathedral Cove near Hahei was named as a world-class seaside getaway.  

It is world-renowned after featuring in blockbuster films and countless summer holidays - although the main route of access remains closed to the public.  

Although the awards say this might make it more appealing for those lucky enough to step on the sands. 

“Since the beach is only accessible by water via boat or kayak, it remains a pristine and tranquil place to visit. The beach itself is made of golden sand and is lined with native pohutukawa trees, enhancing its scenic beauty,” said the Best Beaches entry for number 46 on the list. 

The access track was damaged Cyclone Gabrielle in 2023 and the Department of Conservation advises that there is still no durable solution to opening it to foot traffic. 

Damage to the access path at Cathedral Cove. Photo / Gary HindsDamage to the access path at Cathedral Cove. Photo / Gary Hinds 

Yesterday DoC’s regional director for Hauraki Waikato Taranaki, Tinaka Mearns, said that it would not be an easy task. 

“The continued land movement has made it challenging to identify a simple walking solution at a level of risk acceptable for the type of casual visitor who generally goes there,” she said. 

There would be an assessment of three possible options in June, including two more weather-resistant, long-term options. 

DoC advises visitors to check sea conditions, tides and weather before planning a visit by sea. 

Those who do make the extra effort to visit will be rewarded with world-class beachfront snorkelling around the Te Whanganui o Hei Marine Reserve. 

The annual best beach list sponsored by Banana Boat claims to be voted on by 1000s of travel professionals, journalists and beach bods as a comprehensive list of the world’s 50 best strands. 

The World’s 50 Best Beaches co-founder Tine Holst said the list was compiled to inspire travellers to leave the beaten path and visit the most stunning coastlines on the planet. Cathedral Cove certainly meets that criteria. 

This article was originally published on the NZ Herald here. 

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