100% Tourist Magnet

Hahei Travel Blog

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Cave passage at Cathedral Cove
Yesterday we ventured to Cathedral Cove, Rod's favourite beach up until the place was featured in the 100% New Zealand ad campaigns round the world, and now visitors come by the bus load.  That, and the beach was featured in the Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.  You know that scene where the kids return to Narnia and end up on a beach?  This is the one. 

Although only a 15 minute drive from our camp site, it took us over an hour to get there.  Well, to be fair, it only took us about 30 odd minutes for us to hitch a ride into the town of Hahei with some very friendly lifeguards heading to work, pick up a few drinks at the corner store, and then walk the last 1km up a big, big hill.
Rock formation
  From that point, it was another 30 minute tramp on a dirt trail around two headlands before we finally descended down the wooden stairs to the pristine Cathedral Cove. 

We had about an hour of relative tranquility before the hoards arrived.  Very picturesque, it was instantly obvious why people flock there by the bus loads.  The beach is surrounded by white limestone cliffs topped with flowering, looming, large puhutukawa trees.  Sculptural limestone formations, once part of the cliff side ages ago, stand at the edge of sand and water. 

The most hallmark of all the Cove's features was the walk through cave connecting the Cove to another beach of similiar picturequeness.  Unfortunately, the favourite feature was roped off except for one narrow passage.
Massive groups of teens
  I later learned that some rocks had tumbled down from the cave's ceiling and nearly killed a tourist this past October.  Oh well.  Safety first. 

Oops, almost forgot one other pretty feature of the beach:  a tall, trickling waterfall at the one end of the beach where Rod and I first set up camp for the day.  We were attracted to the large shady area that we thought would be away from the crowds, but we were wrong and we ended up moving spots twice that afternoon.  We were outnumbered by the massive groups of teenagers.

We decided to enjoy a quick dinner in Hahei before hitching back to our campgrounds.  We thought it was about time we indulged in one of NZ's most beloved cuisines:  fish & chips.  I'm sorry, I meant fush & chups!  The local take away joint got us a grease feast of 4 big pieces of freshly deep-fried hoki, and a mound of hot, salty chips for $25.  Sounds like a high dollar amount, but remember this is in NZ dollars.  However, tartare sauce was 50 cents a packet.  Those buggers always get you on the little stuff.  I'll never get used to that.  Condiments should be free, but they're often not in Oz and NZ fast food places.  In my heart I will always feel like I'm being ripped off for this.  But our feed of the deliciousness was exactly needed for that special craving we'd both been harbouring for weeks.


Connie says:
Perhaps, but I didn't flock in groups larger than 5. Besides I was one of those cool teenagers :P
Posted on: Jan 21, 2010
Dr_Seuss says:
You were a teenager once yourself ;)
Posted on: Jan 21, 2010
Connie says:
They charge for ketchup too! Who does that?!! Clearly, if you're buying fries, the ketchup should just come with it!
Posted on: Jan 21, 2010
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Cave passage at Cathedral Cove
Cave passage at Cathedral Cove
Rock formation
Rock formation
Massive groups of teens
Massive groups of teens
Puhukawa trees atop the limestone …
Puhukawa trees atop the limestone…
Cathedral Cove
Cathedral Cove
Hahei
photo by: Connie