New Zealand: Kayaking to Cathedral Cove

By Cubie - January 27, 2018

Kayaking. It sounded fun and looked cool on paper. I totally forgot that the last open water kayaking I attempted at Halong Bay wasn't very successful. Grin.

Just hours prior to arriving at Hahei Beach, Little P mentioned that our kayak tour was 3 hours with paddling time of 2 to 2.5 hours. Then only it hit me that we would be kayaking for a couple of hours in open water. Ahem. No turning back because it was fully paid. The only consolation was that families are welcome, which means if kids could do it, then it won't be too scary I guess.

The Coromandel Peninsula is on the north-east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. There is a small town of the same name, Coromandel but the accommodation we booked was in Whitianga, the second biggest town (Thames is the biggest town, according to wikivoyage). We started our kayak journey from Hahei Beach and all the way to Cathedral Cove.

Cathedral Cove, complete with its gigantic stone arch, is also accessible by foot. If takes about 70 minutes to walk from Hahei Beach to Cathedral Cove. Other options are water taxi, beach bus or kayak. We opted the last transport option. Little P signed us up with Cathedral Cove Kayak Tours, on the Cathedral Cove Classic Tour.

Cathedral Cove Kayak Tours which is the only kayaking company licensed to land daily at Cathedral Cove. Our guide was Ash and he was excellent. I don't know how he does it, especially when no one puts up their hand to his question of, "Who has done kayaking before?". Umm.. and no, the Halong Bay incident above doesn't count, and another time was not in open water and I was more of a passenger.

He started off by briefing us on the kayak, and the one who sits behind is the navigator as they would be the one who step on a paddle to determine whether the kayak turn left or right, how to hold the paddle and paddle, steps to wear our safety gear, how to use the dry bag, etc. Briefing took about half an hour and off we went.

I was a bit nervous but as MMC and I got our paddling rhythm, it was absolutely fun! Ash also gave some information of the area when we grouped midway kayaking, and we also spotted some fishes and stingrays!

When we arrived at Cathedral Cove, we were given some time to walkabout, probably about 20 minutes while Ash prepared our drinks. Actually we were told to come back to grab our drinks before continuing walking around... but I think everybody got distracted with the view. We were given option of cappuccino, long black, latte, flat white and hot chocolate! When we came back, we were treated to this.

A+ effort for barista level beverages and the hot choc was good!
I think it was quite obvious that everybody was much more confident on the way back. It was absolutely fun and I personally think that this is the best way to get to Cathedral Cove ;)

Side note: A long weekend. Yay!

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