Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove is the best beach in New Zealand. An enclosed stretch of golden-white sand at the foot of a forested cliff, its crystal-blue waters are a stage for magnificent rock formations, so beautiful they seem deliberately sculpted.

We're not saying it doesn't have stiff competition and plenty of it - this is New Zealand we're talking about, but its magic is undeniable. Clearly. It was used as a location in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, the bit where Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter have just made it back into the fantasy world. You thought that was CGI? We wouldn't blame you if you did, but Cathedral Cove really is that gorgeous.

You know why it's called Cathedral Cove? The beach's crowning glory is a large cave that forms a natural archway, pointed like a cathedral. When you walk under it, it really does feel like you're in a man-made chamber with a high, vaulted ceiling. People get married underneath it! It's amazing.

You can't get to Cathedral Cove by vehicle. It can only be reached by boat, or by a 20-30 minute bush walk - fairly easy on the way down, but a bit more of a trek going back up! But it's more than worth it.

New Zealand beaches aren't orderly and designed like many beaches elsewhere. What they have is the random beauty of nature and, at Cathedral Cove, the beauty of nature is in evidence on a dramatic scale.

Cathedral Cove is a marine reserve. That means there's an abundance of colourful fish and corals, and on top of that the water is quite clear, so it's great for snorkelling in. Kayaking is popular there as well.

It's also fantastic for kids. The beach on either side of the big cave offers a slightly different experience and unlike most other beaches, there's available shade.

It's unfortunate that Cathedral Cove is difficult to access in comparison to most other beaches. You can't simply park a minute away from the sand. On the other hand, its relative isolation is part of what makes it so magical.

Once you go to Cathedral Cove, you'll never forget it. It's not just beautiful, it's spectacularly beautiful, which is why we say it's the best beach in New Zealand. Either by boat or by bush walk, you just HAVE to go there.

Cathedral Cove

Article by Abigail Simpson

Image Credits
Micknz at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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