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Stories from our backyard: Cathedral Cove Kayak Tours

Apr 26, 2021 | New Zealand, North Island

Cathedral Cove Kayak Tours

New Zealand is all about nature and adventure. That’s definitely my take on this wondrous country. Yes, they have cities…but the main attraction for me and most visitors is to visit and experience the soul of those Insta-worthy landscapes that simply take your breath away. The iconic rock archway of Cathedral Cove on the Coromandel Peninsula, North Island is one such example. That’s a big tick for nature, and the adventure aspect is ably delivered by Cathedral Cove Kayak Tours…which is without a doubt the best way to approach this stunning coastline of volcanic rock and secluded coves. Half and full day tours enable guests to appreciate this coastline in the best possible way – up close and personal in a modern sea kayak. Cathedral Cove Kayak Tours are an award-winning operator that believe in connection…connection to this spectacular land, the history, and the magic of paddling.

Cathedral Cove Kayak Tours
Cathedral Cove, Coromandel. Credit: Matt Crawford

The Coromandel Peninsula is a 2 hour drive east of Auckland. Jutting out into the Pacific Ocean, the Coromandel Peninsula has a magnificent coastline and unspoiled beaches which feels serenely remote. It’s a much-loved paradise and a favourite Kiwi holiday destination. Apart from Cathedral Cove, one of the highlights of the region is Hot Water Beach. At low tide, you can dig your own spa pool in the sand at Hot Water Beach – a truly unique Kiwi experience! But there is plenty more on offer: stunning beaches, tasting freshly caught seafood, swimming in the turquoise waters, relaxing in a thermal pool, hiking/cycling or catching the mountain train through the rainforests and exploring the gold mine history of the area. A holiday here is the perfect antidote to the excitement of city life and provides a quick and easy escape to relax and rejuvenate.

Cathedral Cove Kayak Tours

A small Kiwi company BIG on good times!

The Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve offers a sea kayaking paradise full of beaches, islands and rock gardens that are just waiting to be explored. As the only kayaking company licensed to land at Cathedral Cove, Cathedral Cove Kayak Tours invites you to experience the magic of sea kayaking in this amazing place. The 3-hour Classic tour highlights are paddling through sea caves, interaction with the local marine life and discovering the thrill of kayak sailing with the wind on your back. The qualified guides are full of local knowledge and have loads of fascinating stories and Māori legends to share. The bonus is some well-deserved downtime with cappuccinos, hot chocolates and cookies at Cathedral Cove! Rated by New Zealand’s leading tour companies as one of the best sea kayaking trips in the country, this tour caters for all ages & abilities and no previous kayaking experience is required.

Cathedral Cove Kayak Tours

Cathedral Cove Kayaks have been offering guided sea kayak tours since 1999. The tours are designed to give people the opportunity to safely experience sea kayaking and to discover the natural beauty and rich history of the coastal environment. Guests get up close and personal with the ocean and the huge variety of creatures and species that call it home. Chances are you will come face to face with dolphins, seals, whales, stingrays, fish, penguins and much more.

Take nothing but photos & leave nothing but footprints…

Now let’s go back to the connection to the land and people that is so central to Cathedral Cove Kayak tours. This connection is evident in a number of ways…firstly they are committed to respectfully incorporating Māori principles and values into their business practices. The three core Māori values of Manaakitanga (hospitality and the act of caring for a person’s mana), Kaitiakitanga (guardianship and the connection between people and the natural world) and Whanaungatanga (relationships and feeling a sense of belonging). Secondly, they are passionate about conservation through education. The Cathedral Cove Kayak Tours team understand and respect their environment and have embraced the opportunity to share and preserve it. As they say… “We can have our busiest day of the year and as the sun sets that evening there will be no sign that we were ever there”.

Cathedral Cove Kayak Tours

Their aim to be the epitome of low impact and sustainable tourism is a goal to be proud of. It’s a remarkable aim for a small Kiwi business in a very special corner of the world. Make sure to include Cathedral Cove Kayak Tours on your wish list for your next New Zealand holiday…. I know I will be doing just that 😊.


The summer season (December-April) is traditionally the most popular time to visit. The daytime temperatures range between 22-24 degrees Celsius and the nights are 12-14 degrees. Perfect weather for all activities.

Hot Water Beach, Coromandel. Credit: Matt Crawford

Good to know:

The Coromandel Peninsula is a wedge of land that has over 400km of pristine beaches, a rugged mountain interior, geothermal hot springs & misty rainforests. It is renowned worldwide for its natural beauty and most famous for Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach. It’s an ideal place to slow down, relax and unwind. Allow 2-3 nights or stay for your entire holiday! Apart from the must-do Cathedral Cove Kayak Tour, other top highlights include: dig yourself a spa at Hot Water Beach, experience a lazy day at Hahei or Cooks Beach, enjoy some magnificent views on the Coromandel Coastal walkway or the Cathedral Cove walk, catch a journey through mountains and bush with Driving Creek Railway and relax in the geo-thermal waters of the Lost Spring Resort.

Karangahake Gorge. Coromandel. Credit: Graeme Murray

And finally:

AET Travel (formerly Australia Expat Travel) specialises in exceptional holidays to Australia and New Zealand. We make it simple with our local knowledge, seamless logistics and trusted advice since 2004. Expect a bespoke itinerary curated with the big picture and the small details. Contact Us

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