First and foremost beaches are associated with swimming and sunbathing. Quite a few of them are scenic or outstanding at a special time. Share your favorite beach which you already experienced.
Popular small beach frequently with lifeguard during the day in summer. Less busy and even more beautiful in the evening at sunset and low tide. Tide pooling during the day is much fun for the younger ones at low tide. The Natural Bridges State Beach is open from 8 a.m. until sunset. The visitor center is open from 10 am until 4 pm. The State Beach vehicle fee is 10 $ a day.
There is limited parking in front of the State Beach allowed for 20 minutes only. Plenty of parking lots close to the visitor center, shoulder parking direction the entrance kiosk, and outside the State Beach. Anyhow, on weekends in summer it gets quite busy.
Walking through the bridge is possible at spring tide only a couple of times a year. It occurs in spring and fall when the full or new moon is closest to the earth. Tide times Natural Bridges
- On the second Sunday in October the monarch butterfly is welcomed from 11 am until 4 pm. It's an amazing festival for the whole family.
- The second Saturday in February is dedicated to the whale migration.
The park is a temporary home for thousands of Monarch Butterflies during the winter. They migrate from the cold Rockie Mountain Valleys. The mild climate and the eucalyptus trees provide a safe place for them. They feed on the nectar of the milkweed. The butterflies arrive around mid-October and stay until late January to mid- February. Guided Monarch Butterfly Tours are offered in fall and winter at 11 am and 2 pm.
During spring wildflowers are in bloom.
Weather and Water Temperature
During the summer from June to August, it's dry, and drought occurs. The average day temp is 17°C / 62°F, but 30°C / 86°F can happen as well. Water temp in summer around 16°C / 61°F only. Most precipitation in winter from December to February with its peak in February. Average day temps are around 10°C / 50°F.
Natural Bridges Park Map and Brochure including wheelchair accessibility
The trips are offered from March to October; at the peak season in summer up to 4 times and in the shoulder season twice each day.
The morning tours are slightly quieter, and it’s less hot in summer. We preferred the afternoon trip to get the best light for taking pictures. Usually, the sea is calmer in the morning and a bit rough in the afternoon.
Some providers offer sunrise and sunset trips in summer.
Less busy during the shoulder season. The sea is still a bit cold in May and June, September is great.
Despite the weather, it‘s a breathtaking beach where you walk between huge rock stacks for almost two kilometers at low tide. At high tide, the sea covers the entire beach up to the steps. The tidal range can be up to 7 meters during the big spring tides. The tides are coming in pretty fast. You need to enter a gate to get to the 120 steps down to the beach.
From November to February the gate is closed due to severe weather and surf and also during periods of bad weather. This spectacular beach is best visited up to two hours before low tide to maximise your time here. Plan at least 3-4 hours for a visit. Tide Times Bedruthan Steps
Often only the main car park is open. At low tide and around midday cars are queuing for space. If you arrive one or two hours before low tide, you increase your chance for a parking lot. The Café is popular for jacket potatoes, cream tea, and homemade scones; the reason that it gets busy at midday especially at weekends.
The coast experiences a mild climate throughout the year. The average temps in the summer are around 20°C, but 30°C are possible in July and August. Autumn is slightly colder on average 13°C to 18°C. The spring temps are around 11°C to 15°C. Due to drizzle, fog, and wind which occurs throughout the year, it may feel pretty chilly. Usually, the driest months are April, May, and August. The water temp is quite cold even in the summer maximum of 17°C.
Stay nearby in Padstow for a couple of days to visit Bedruthan, Tintagel Castle, Lanhydrock House. Bodmin Moor to mention a view of the many highlights.
Our favorite hike is the coastal path from Carnewas at Bedruthan to Padstow. The rugged scenery is just mind-blowing. We highly recommend staying in the luxury Padstow Townhouse B&B. The only issue you may have afterward is that you don't want to leave this awesome house and this high-level service. Another option for low budget travelers is the Hostel YHA Treyarnon Bay north of Bedruthan Steps.
The park is open from mid-May until mid-October but still accessible in off-season (see main text below) and an amazing experience. However, the place is usually swarmed with tourists.
Tip: Make sure to check our '17 Must-Know Tips for Hopewell Rocks' at the end of this article!
Avoiding Tourist Crowds
Time of Day: Go very early at sunrise. It's even quieter before they open (9 am / 8 am) or visit after the park is closed. Check the tide table first: Hopewell Rocks Tide Tables Please be careful: Outside of operating hours there is no staff to advise you regarding safety and you visit at your own risk. However, all other safety measures like cables and signs are in place regardless of the time of day. The only exception is during off-season from mid-October until mid-May: The safety measures are not in place during these months.
Season/Months: Peak tourist season with heavy crowds is from mid-June/July till August. In September it thins out a little but still can be busy as it is the preferred travel month for seniors. SWEET SPOT months with mild weather and less crowds are END OF MAY, BEGINNING OF JUNE and END OF SEPTEMBER until OCTOBER. You might even visit in the winter and enjoy real solitude. But please keep in mind that a walk can be very slippery and icy. Plus, the safety measures are not in place and it can become dangerous.
Official Opening Hours 2019
- May 17 – June 21: From 9:00 – 17:00 (9 am – 5 pm)
- June 22 – August 16: 8:00 – 20:00 (8 am – 8 pm)
- August 17 – September 2: 9:00 – 19:00 (9 am – 7 pm)
- September 3 – October 14: 9:00 – 17:00 (9 am – 5 pm)
*You may also enter the park outside opening hours (read above and below)
Cathedral Cove and the Coromandel Peninsula are one of the most popular places on the north island of New Zealand. During the summer the most important thing is avoiding the crowds at Cathedral Cove. To enjoy the rock arch with very few people come here at sunrise. The rest of the year watch the tides and the weather forecast first for the perfect experience. You get the best shot between high and low tide. Low tide is nice as well, and it's dry inside the cave/rock arch. At high tide, you may not be able to walk through it: Tide Times Cathedral Cove Coromandel
Mare Leg Cove and its Smiling Sphinx Rock
Don't miss the nearby Hot Water Beach two hours either side of low tide! Read on for more information about Cathedral Cove and all its beautiful lagoons and beaches.
Weather and Crowds (Season Details)
Coromandel is a year-round destination with a mild climate. The rainfall on the Coromandel peninsula is sometimes significant even in summer. The weather is influenced by the mountain range and the sea.
Spring (September - October - November)
Shoulder Season! Precipitation decreases; but still quite high in September with an average daily temp of 12°C and nights are around 8°C which is pretty chilly for camping. October improves with almost 14°C and above at daytime. Cathedral Cove gets busier but still bearable. November is drier almost like the summer months. Temps are pleasant.
Summer (December - January - February)
Peak Season! These are the driest months of the year and the most popular time for visiting New Zealand. Come here either for the sunrise or the sunset. Don’t worry about the tides. If you like to enjoy this magic place, try to avoid the crowds. Cathedral Cove is often overrun during the day. From December to March the parking fills up soon. The reason that there is a second parking area with shuttle transfer offered. The mean daily temp is 24°C and above even up to 30°C during the summer.
Autumn (March - April - May)
Peak and shoulder season! In autumn the temperature is getting cooler, but weather can be excellent even for swimming until late April/May. It’s still drier in March and April; rain increases in May. March is still busy until Easter. In April the crowds thin out, and in May it becomes enjoyable.
Winter (June - July - August)
Low Season! If you come here during winter and the colder months from May to September, you may experience the beach and cove almost alone, but it's too cold for swimming. Most precipitation in winter with its peak in June. This is also the coldest month but still pleasant day temps. The winter temperature can be 12°C-14°C and drop to 6°C-8°C. This time of the year is pretty cold for camping.
Picture provided by Johannes Ehrhardt
How to avoid the crowds during peak season? Before sunset, most of the people already left the beach. It's less busy in the early morning and the evening.
Where to Stay
Don't visit Cathedral Cove in a rush. Stay here at least one night. There is a huge variety of accommodations in Hahei. We spent two nights there and even that was too short for Cathedral Cove, the Hot Water Beach (we gave it a miss, unfortunately) and the Waiau Kauri Grove and Falls. We'd chosen an exceptional location for our stay in the Church Accommodation. We loved the dinner in the Church Bistro which was initially a church made of wood in the 1900s. If you like it hassle-free regarding parking and stay in close proximity to The Cove, check out our accommodation choice below (Where to Park).
Car Rental & Campervan
Please do not make the mistake and rent a car or camper at Auckland airport without pre-booking. It's much more expensive if you rent on the spot. The best price comparisons for pre-bookings can be found at Rentalcars.com - Auckland Airport. You can book any big brand (Budget, Enterprise, Alamo, ezi, Hertz, Avis, ace, etc.) or even campervans from JUCY!
Kynance Cove situated on the Lizard Peninsula is an unspoilt Cornish gem with lovely beaches at low tide and a brilliant clear turquoise sea. Rocky islands, stacks, and arches attract tourists, artists, and poets as well for hundreds of years. But words will not justice it’s beauty. The cove and coastal path to Lizard Point are always worth to visit no matter what kind of weather occurs. Though during summer it’s packed with hundreds of people each day.
More than 250.000 visitors come to explore this beautiful stretch of coastline each year. Kynance Cove is packed with tourists and locals alike during summer and lovely sunny weekends. To enjoy the truly magnificent cove and the coastal path as well come here either during the week or in the shoulder season. During July and August, it’s hard to enjoy this magnificent piece of mother nature and the spectacular views. You are queuing at the car park, the climb down and at the café as well. Hundreds of people try to get a glimpse of this beautiful stretch of beach at the same time. Winter can be nice as well but colder. There is limited parking. The main car park fills up pretty soon during the busy time of the year. There is an overflow parking nowadays which takes an additional 30 minutes to walk. So, if you like to visit Kynance during summer or at an awesome weekend, you should come early (before 9 am!!) or late in the day.
The tides are coming in fast. So, check out the tides before you visit Kynance Cove. The best time for heading down is when the tide is going out without any left footprints. Explore the arches and caves around, There are several small tidal islands and rare serpentinite rocks here. Some of them got eroded by the sea. One of the islands is Asparagus Island which is accessible at low tide. Tide times Kynance Cove
Weather and Crowds by Season
The Lizard Peninsula experiences a very mild climate due to the Gulf Stream and mainly warm winds from the west. The water temperature is pretty cold even in summer usually below 18°C / 64°F. The sea is often quite rough – not safe for swimming - no lifeguards on duty.
March and April are still pretty chilly with daily temps around 11°C / 52°F. Rain decreases in May and daily temps rise up to 15°C / 59°F. March and April are the low season except for Easter. May is already a favourite month for visitors but still a good time for a vacation. Days are often pleasant and sunny. Wildflowers and orchids are in bloom in May and June.
That’s the driest time of the year although be always prepared for a rain shower. Daily temps on average are almost 20°C / 68°F and can sometimes even reach 30°C / 86°F. Most cottages and hotels are fully booked and prices are on a high level. If visiting Kynance Cove during summer holidays in July and August, you won’t enjoy this remarkable place. It’s utterly overrun, no space for a towel just queuing. Too many visitors will spoil your visit at the cove.
September is one of the most beautiful months for Cornwall and often remains warm. Average daily temps are still around 17°C / 63°F and 14°C / 57°F during the night. Fewer people visit Cornwall in September. October and November are quiet. It’s easy to find a beautiful cottage to stay. Precipitation increases in October. Temps drop to 12°C / 54°F in November. Bring a snack in October and November; the café could be closed.
Photo by John Such on Unsplash
Most rainfall in winter however beautiful blue skies can occur as well. Winter is mild daily mean temp around 10°C / 50°F. Except for Christmas Holidays, it’s peaceful and quiet here. Many cafes and shops are closed. Bring your own picnic to the cove. Plenty of accommodations are available.
Things to Know and Opening Hours
- Facilities are available at the car park opened from Easter to the end of October, at Kynance Cove throughout the year.
- The Polpeor Cafe is open between Easter and late October.
- Dogs are prohibited at the busiest time of the year from Easter Sunday to the end of September from 7 to 7, but most people ignore that.
- Lizard Point Lighthouse is usually open from Easter to the end of the summer. You can either walk from Kynance Cove to Lizard Point or get here by car. Parking fee is requested if not National Trust member.
If you plan to walk the circular trail you can also park the car in Lizard village. Facilities are availble here.
Where to Stay on Lizard Peninsula
The Lizard Peninsula is such a quiet and beautiful part of Cornwall that we decided to stay here for three nights. We explored much of this area by feet. There are some hotels and accommodations around. Hotels Lizard Peninsula
We'd chosen the lovely Top House Inn with Pub. We spent each evening in the pub enjoying the excellent food and fresh Cornish fish as well while drinking cider. They have eight comfy en-suite rooms in the centre of the village. Take your full English breakfast and walk the 3 km to Kynance Cove.