We hiked in to Cathedral Cove over a trail that took about 30 minutes each way. The hike was very scenic through the trees and along the ocean. There are a few areas where you have to go up and down steps, so a minimum fitness level is necessary. There are a couple of other beaches along the way that are marked. We stopped at Stingray Cove to eat lunch on the way back and found it quiet and scenic.
The parking lot at the start of the hike was full when we arrived mid-morning. We drove around a couple of times until we found a spot where someone was pulling out. You can park further away and walk, if necessary. Make sure to take plenty of water with you on the hike because it can get quite warm especially if the weather is sunny. There was a small concession trailer in the parking lot where you can stock up with snacks, sandwiches and drinks, but nothing at the cove.
There is a beautiful rock arch at the beach and quite a few people who were swimming. We took several photos and found the hike well worth it. The scenery here was one of the highlights of our trip to New Zealand.
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