Enjoy spectacular coastal scenery from this track which leads down to Gemstone and Stingray Bays as well as Cathedral Cove, probably the Coromandel’s most popular destination beach.
About the walk
How long will it take? This is a 2.5-km, 90-minute return walk.
A walking track gives access to Gemstone Bay, Stingray Bay and the beautiful, sandy beaches at Cathedral Cove, separated by one of our most famous rock arches. This area is part of Te Whanganui A Hei Marine Reserve. Although this track is well graded, there are some hill slopes.
The track drops steadily from the Cathedral Cove car park on Grange Road into a valley where a side loop track takes you through a puriri grove and then back onto the main track. Alternatively, you can take a side track down to Gemstone Bay, which has a bouldery beach and snorkel trail or, a little further on, take another side track to Stingray Bay.
Stingray Bay has some large boulders with a beautiful, sandy beach beyond. Look out for a sea cave and the honeycomb weathering on the cliff face across the bay.
Back on the main track, you climb out of the valley up to a high point overlooking the coastline. Stop, catch your breath and admire the views of offshore islands. The track then crosses pasture and scrubland before entering pine forest with a good understorey of native shrubs.
From here, it is all downhill to Cathedral Cove and even though this means there is a climb back off the beach for the return journey, it is well worth it to experience the beauty of this place.
There is a walking track from the western end of Hahei beach up to Cathedral Cove car park to connect with the track to Cathedral Cove. Allow an extra 20–30 minutes for this walk.