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.
Very crowded! Try to be there as early as possible or later in the evening for a walk. Crowds are even worse in the high season.
Summertime, if you are hiking the trail along the bluffs you'll be in and out of shaded areas. The bugs won't be too bad because of the breeze off the lake.
Cathedral Cove and the Coromandel Peninsula are some 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. Spend the entire day at the beach and experience mother nature at its best during high and low tide. Why? You will love to be almost alone at the beach but don't miss out low tide. The rest of the year watch the tides and the weather forecast first for the perfect experience. The best time is between high and low tide for a perfect shot.
Cathedral Cove Arch with the incoming tide
The beach behind the cave is accessible roughly two hours before and after low tide. That's the best time to come here. So start your walk from the car park or accommodation early enough that you don't miss the low tide. That's the best time to walk through and it's dry inside the cave/rock arch. At high tide, you are not able to walk through it and you miss out the best part of this awesome beach.: 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. Crowds can be an issue espcially when the low tide is around midday.
Spring (September - 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 - 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. An alternative spend the entire day here and experience the beaches and cove during high and low tide - almost alone and busy. We did this on our second visit late January 20. 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 - May)
Peak and shoulder season! In autumn the temperature is getting cooler, but the 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 quieter.
Winter (June - 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.
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, 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). Are you traveling on a budget? The Tatahi Backpackers is the best-located hostel ever. It is right on the pathway to the beach. You couldn't wish for better. The hostel itself has comfy beds, clean kitchen, beautiful outdoor dining, and seating. Advanced booking is recommended; it's often fully booked.
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!
Wharariki Beach is truly a stunning place. The beach got more popular due to the Windows 10 Wallpapers. Anyhow, it's pretty remote and far to drive, the reason that's still not overrun. It's a 2 hours drive more than 100 km from Kaiteriteri and an hour from Kataka. If you are looking for one of the most breathtaking beaches with view people only except during summer from December to February, you should come here for a whole day or at least a couple of hours. Most people visit the beach for the awesome sunset!
When the tide is going out, you can hike along the entire beach and getting access to several caves. It's very rare that you get pretty close to all of the Archway Islands during low tide. It depends on the sea level. Be aware it's not safe for swimming due to rip currents. Bring a windproof jacket it's extremely windy! Tide times
Where to Stay
Either you can stay next to the Beach at the Wharariki Holiday Park which is quite basic but beautifully situated or chose The Innlet, Country Apartments, Cottages, and Farmhouse Villa Hostel. The location of the property is excellent while you visit Wharariki Beach and Farewell Spit look no further.
All year round, beach and nature exploring. Best time to visit during the dry season Nov./Dec. until April. Avoid weekends it is a popular beach for the locals. Shoulder season May and June, showers may occur. July and August are the Cuban school holiday.
Best at low tide; perfect for swimming in summer.