Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve - Cathedral Cove

Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve - Cathedral Cove: Our most recommended tours and activities

Whitianga: Cathedral Cove 2 Hour Boat Cruise

1. Whitianga: Cathedral Cove 2 Hour Boat Cruise

Based in Whitianga, this scenic boat cruise showcases Mercury Bay’s stunning coastal paradise at its very best. Embark on a 2-hour journey across the rugged volcanic shores of the bay and explore its beautiful beaches including Hahei and Lonely Bay. The highlight of the tour is the world-famous Cathedral Cove at Te Whanganui a Hei Marine Reserve. The site has a rich Maori heritage, attracts around 150,000 visitors per year, and was used as a filming location for the blockbuster movie Narnia. Sit back and relax as you sail around the bay, and marvel at its stunning natural landscapes that stretch across the peninsula. Along the way, listen to your guide share entertaining live commentary about the bay and the wildlife that lives here. Make sure to keep an eye on the water too, as there's always a chance to see dolphins, whales and orcas in their natural habitat.

Whitianga: Sailing Trip to Cathedral Cove with Swim

2. Whitianga: Sailing Trip to Cathedral Cove with Swim

Embark on a sailing trip from Flaxmill Bay, a small cove nestled between Cooks Beach and Whitianga to see the iconic sights of Mercury Bay and Cathedral Cove. Lend a hand with the sailing or simply sit back and relax on comfy beanbags and admire the picturesque scenery.  Board our large, modern catamaran, and after a short introductory session to the boat's main facilities and safety systems, set sail out to the calm waters of the bay.  As you sail, spot the area's most notable sights with the help of your guide. Keep your cameras ready as you sail past Cathedral Cove. You will enjoy some snacks and drinks during the journey.  Once the boat sets anchor, choose to swim or snorkel in the marine reserve with the wonderful sea life, or simply chill out on board and soak up the scenery.  The tour concludes back at the starting point in Flaxmill Bay. 

Whitianga: Cathedral Cove, Small Caves & Snorkel Boat Trip

3. Whitianga: Cathedral Cove, Small Caves & Snorkel Boat Trip

Discover the scenic Cathedral Cove and smaller caves on this boat trip from Whitianga. Experience the thrill of small, hard-to-get-to caves and discover magnificent offshore views. See New Zealand's 2nd largest sea cave, and get up close to aquatic life in the marine reserve. Leaving Whitianga Wharf, stop to view Shakespeare's Cliff, and pass the stunning Lonely before exploring inside Cooks Beach Blowhole and gazing out through the top. Be amazed at the panoramic scenery at Cathedral Cove. Head south, getting close along the coastline in and out of bays, caves, and blowholes. Take in the mesmerizing volcanic landscape of towering pinnacles and rock sculptures. Marvel at the size of New Zealand's 2nd largest sea cave "Orua" before visiting offshore islands with more caves. Have the option to snorkel and witness sea life in the marine reserve before heading back to Whitianga.

Auckland: Coromandel, Cathedral Cove & Hot Water Beach Tour

4. Auckland: Coromandel, Cathedral Cove & Hot Water Beach Tour

Begin the tour with a pick-up from your hotel in a comfortable minibus equipped with WiFi, charging ports, and onscreen entertainment. Be taken on a scenic drive through the New Zealand countryside as you head to the incredible Coromandel Peninsula. Head to your first stop, Cathedral Cove, a spot featured in the film the Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Cathedral Cove is one of New Zealand's most famous and beautiful beaches, and is a must-do activity for any visitor to New Zealand. As there are no roads to this beach, take a 40-minute bush walk to get there. Upon arrival, take some time to relax, sunbathe, swim, play sport, or just soak in the spectacular views. Later, enjoy time for lunch at a restaurant where you can try some local food, and can even have a beer if you choose (food and drinks not included). Continue to your next stop, the famous Hot Water Beach, where you can dig a hole in the sand to create a naturally-heated geothermal water bath. Finally, it's time to make your way back to Auckland, but not without stopping for a quick ice-cream and some more photos.

From Auckland: Small Group Coromandel Peninsula Day Tour

5. From Auckland: Small Group Coromandel Peninsula Day Tour

First, enjoy the 90-minute drive to the charming town of Thames, where you will take a short break. Then, hit the road again and take in the spectacular views along New Zealand’s west coast. You will then stop in at the Coromandel Township where the renowned potter, Barry Brickell, had his studio. Ride on his personally designed mountain railway system, on a memorable journey through the rugged landscape. Next, stop for a quiet stroll in pristine rainforest and see some magnificent kauri trees, which once covered the Coromandel Peninsula. The journey continues across the mountain divide and descends towards the east coast beaches where you will stop for lunch. Visit the amazing Hot Water Beach, where hot water bubbles to the surface of the sand. Dig your own hot tub right next to the lapping waves.   Then, visit Cathedral Cove, where the water washes through a natural arch onto a white sandy beach backed by white cliffs. Next, take the 30-minute downhill walk to the beautiful beach, which was featured in the Chronicles of Narnia.   End the day enjoy the landscape during the return journey to Auckland, as you head over the hills along a different route.

Whitianga: Jet Boat Ride to Cathedral Cove

6. Whitianga: Jet Boat Ride to Cathedral Cove

Speed through the water at up to 80 kilometers an hour. Enjoy scenic views as you head to Cathedral Cove in a thrilling way. Board your jet boat and get ready for the fastest way to see Cathedral Cave. Hold on tight on your high-speed journey and experience drifting, power slides and white knuckle spins. Combine the rush of adrenaline with spectacular views of the volcanic coastline. Zoom over turquoise waters, past desert islands, and white sand beaches. Speed by towering cliffs and giant pohutukawa trees before sliding in towards Cathedral Cove to admire this natural wonder.

From Auckland: Coromandel Peninsula Full-Day Tour

7. From Auckland: Coromandel Peninsula Full-Day Tour

Explore the pristine white-sand beaches, lush native forests, and breathtaking natural formations of the Coromandel Peninsula on a full-day tour from Auckland. Hike through beautiful forest to the rugged coastline and marvel at the views of Cathedral Cove. Get up close to this cathedral-like arched cavern, featured in the Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Dig your own shallow thermal pool in the tidal area of the beach and let yourself soak in a 60-degree bath on Hot Water Beach. Marvel at the spectacular views and the ever-changing landscape and stop en route to take magical photos. Travel throughout in air-conditioned Mercedes-Benz vehicle, on a small group tour and accompanied by a knowledgeable guide. Make full use of your day as you hike, soak and swim and explore Hahei, Hot Water Beach, Cathedral Cove.

From Whitianga: Cathedral Cove Marine Reserve Cruise & Swim

8. From Whitianga: Cathedral Cove Marine Reserve Cruise & Swim

Relax & enjoy Shakespeare’s Cliff, Lonely Bay & Cathedral Cove on an open boat with unrestricted stunning views. Experience the thrill of going inside Cooks Blowhole, Whale Cave and our very own “Hole in the Rock”. Regularly going to the places seen in online videos & pictures, venture inside caves others cannot take you! View fish in the Marine Reserve. Learn the history of the area and be amazed by the volcanic formations throughout the Bay. You won’t be disappointed with Coromandel’s fantastic coastline as we go down to the Orua Sea Cave where you will be taken inside the cave and hear the amazing acoustics as we play music.

Whitianga: Scenic Flight on Coromandel Peninsula

9. Whitianga: Scenic Flight on Coromandel Peninsula

Discover the Coromandel Peninsula from a unique aerial perspective with a scenic flight over Mercury Bay. Departing from the coastal town of Whitianga, head north to Matarangi, Whangapoua, and New Chums Beach. Travel along the coast with stunning views of the Great Mercury Islands, Opito Bay, and Great Barrier in the distance. Fly over white-sand beaches, high clifftops, as well as secluded bays and coves only visible by plane or boat. From there, continue down the coast to Hahei and Hot Water Beach. Finally arrive at the critically-acclaimed Cathedral Cove and fly over Cooks Beach before heading back to Whitianga.

From Auckland: 18-Day North & South Island Tour with Lodging

10. From Auckland: 18-Day North & South Island Tour with Lodging

Experience the majestic beauty of New Zealand's diverse landscapes on an 18-day adventure. Join your guide on the trip of a lifetime as you travel from Auckland all the way down to Queenstown. Take part in unique local activities along the way and end your journey in the city of Christchurch. Day 1: Auckland to Hot Water Beach •Explore the stunning Cathedral Cove •Relax at Hot Water Beach by digging your own spa pool Day 2: Hot Water Beach to Waitomo •Hike through the Karangahake Gorge •Admire the magical glowworm caves in Waitomo Day 3: Waitomo to Rotorua •Explore the lush Ruakuri Reserve •Spend the night in a Māori village, where you'll learn about local history and culture •Seize the opportunity to visit Hobbiton at your own expense •Discover the town and lake in Rotorua Day 4: Rotorua to Tongariro National Park via Taupo •Walk the scenic Huka Falls walkway •Soak under a waterfall or in the naturally heated rock pools at Spa Park Day 5: Tongariro National Park •Book a shuttle to Tongariro Crossing, one of New Zealand's best hikes •Rent skiing or snowboarding equipment and head over to Mount Ruapehu Day 6: Tongariro National Park to River Valley •Walk the trail to Taranaki Falls •Spend the day at River Valley Lodge, nestled along the Rangitikei River •Enjoy free time to go white water rafting or horseback riding •Taste an organic roast dinner Day 7: River Valley to Wellington •Take in the vibrant city vibes of Wellington, New Zealand's capital Day 8: Wellington to Kaikoura •Board a spacious ferry for a ride across the Cook Strait •Sip on some local wine in the Marlborough region •Visit the impressive Kaikoura seal colony Day 9: Kaikoura to Christchurch •Hike the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway •Admire incredible panoramic views of Kaikoura •Discover hidden gems of Christchurch on a city-street art trail Day 10: Christchurch to Lake Tekapo •Marvel at the stars in the Dark Sky Project •Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd •Trek up Mount John for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and lakes Day 11: Lake Tekapo to Mount Cook •Spend the day inside the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park •Walk through the Hooker Valley track to Hooker Lake Day 12: Lake Tekapo to Queenstown •Feast on a buffet dinner with panoramic views of Queenstown at the Skyline Stratosphere Restaurant Day 13: Queenstown free day •Have the whole day to yourself and explore the wonders of Queenstown Day 14: Queenstown to Glenorchy day trip •Cruise past the lake and onto Glenorchy, where you can embark on short scenic walks Day 15: Queenstown to Wanaka •Take in views over Lake Wānaka from Roys Peak (only accessible from November to May) •Alternatively, join the Mt Iron hike, providing 360-degree views of the Pisa range •Visit the famous Wanaka tree Day 16: Wanaka to Franz Josef •Discover the Thunder Creek falls in Mt Aspiring National Park •Admire the famous mirror views of Aoraki/Mount Cook from Lake Matheson Day 17: Franz Josef •Design and carve your own Greenstone jewelry in a West Coast workshop •Take on a glacier walk Day 18: Franz Josef to Christchurch •Explore a variety of trails across Arthur's Pass •Walk the Castle Hill track •Stop at the Devils Punchbowl waterfalls.

Other Sightseeing Options in Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve - Cathedral Cove

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What people are saying about Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve - Cathedral Cove

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 162 reviews

We got to see a lot of the distinctive features of this coastline in the boat. Cathedral Cove was beautiful but also loved the sea caves and different cliff formations. Guide was very knowledgeable and had a good sense of humour. Also learnt some of the local history and Captain Cook connection which I didn’t know. Too cold to snorkel but I’m sure that would be a bonus in summer.

The vessel had just the right amount of people to make it a comfortable tour and not so small as to be potentially rough while travelling across the bay. Liam our driver and guide was entertaining and knowledgeable.

Liam our skipper/guide was the best. Kept us all interested and took us to some pretty places

A great way to see the beautiful coast and learn about the history of the area

Very enjoyable experience. Commentary was informative and interesting.