New Chums Beach, in Wainuiototo Bay, is only accessible by boat, or by foot from Whangapoua Beach. The walk from Whangapoua Beach is relatively easy, but there is a rather difficult but short side track to the 72m high summit of Whangapoua hill at Motuto Point for excellent views of New Chums Beach and Whangapoua Beach.
New Chums Beach has been in the news recently, with protests over plans to subdivide land for holiday homes near the beach. Presumably this would be the farmland which is visible on some photos, but which is not visible from the beach itself.
Opera Point Historic Reserve is located on a small peninsula on the south-eastern end of Whangapoua Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula. It includes the historic Raukawa Pa site, at 85m above sea level. The only marked walkway is from the parking area on Whangapoua Road to the beach at Opera Point. Another, unmarked, rough track leads from near the carpark to the pa site on top of the hill, and down to the beach. It’s possible to walk along the beach to Te Rehutae Point.
From the pa site there are views across the harbour entrance to Matarangi, and further out to sea.
Cathedral Cove with its small sandy beach is only accessible by boat, or by foot from Hahei. The walkway is accessible from either Hahei Beach, or from the end of Grange Road, north-west of Hahei. Two other beaches, a sandy beach in Stingray Bay and a stony beach in Gemstone Bay, are accessible on short side tracks from the same walkway.
The rock arch, or cathedral, is an archway or cave linking Cathedral Cove and Mares Leg Cove. It is a popular destination for both tourists and locals, so the walkway can be busy all year round. The track is well formed and easy, without significant elevation changes, except for a short section with steps at the Mares Leg Cove end of the track. Continue reading