Hahei is a truly magnificent place. Beyond World Famous Cathedral Cove, you’ll find towering white cliffs, protected bays and striking coastal formations. The scenery is breathtaking.

Marine Reserve

A rare opportunity to experience an unspoilt marine environment. Te Whanganui a hei (Cathedral Cove) marine reserve is a protected area where recreational and commercial fishing is prohibited. The reserve begins off the coast of Hahei, covering a 9 square kilometre area of ocean. The marine ecosystem has flourished since it’s protection in 1992, and is now a thriving home to a range of marine plants and animals, taonga (treasure) protected now and for future generations. Our tour will take you to special places and share our extensie ecotourism knowledge with you.

History of Hahei

Te Whanganui A Hei has a rich history beginning with it’s discovery by Kupe, the legendary Polynesian Explorer, whom sailed into the bay, in front of him rose Moehai Mountain on the mountain of Toi, now known as The Coromandel Ranges. A few hundred years later during the time of the polynesian migration to Aotearoa, Hei, a Chief of the Ngati Hei Iwi arrived on the Te Arawa Canoe. Hei settled his people in the area around Mercury Bay, asserting ownership by referring to Motueka Island as ‘Te Kuraetanga-o-taku-Ihu’ (‘The outward curve of my nose’). It is said everything he saw from the top of this offshore island became his. The Hahei Explorer team is passionate about sharing knowledge and values the opportunity to tell stories of local Māori history.

Volcanic Coast

The spectacular sights we visit on our tour are a result of a rich volcanic history and centuries of erosion that have carved the Coromandel coastline, forming magnificent archways, secret caverns and protected bays. Hahei’s fascinating geological past is prevalent in it’s varied terrain and rock formations. The township lies in a protected valley,
with the Coromandel’s dramatic mountain ranges to the south and hills to the north and west. These ranges are evidence and remnants of the fiery volcanoes, plumes of ash and rivers of lava that once dominated the land and shaped our region. A legacy of this turbulent past can be found at hot water beach, just a 10 minutes drive from Hahei. Here geothermal hot water still bubbles to the surface, a result of underground fissures deep beneath the sand.