Whanganui A Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve

Coordinates: 36°49′42″S 175°47′24″E / 36.82833°S 175.79000°E / -36.82833; 175.79000
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Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve
Cathedral Cove in 2019
Map of New Zealand showing the location of the reserve
Map of New Zealand showing the location of the reserve
LocationNew Zealand
Coordinates36°49′42″S 175°47′24″E / 36.82833°S 175.79000°E / -36.82833; 175.79000
Area840 ha
Governing bodyDepartment of Conservation

Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve is in the southern part of Mercury Bay on the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand covering an area of 840 hectares (2,100 acres).[1] On the coast of the mainland, it stretches from Cook Bluff in the north-west to the northern end of Hahei Beach in the south-east. Its offshore extremes run from Motukorure Island through Waikaranga Island to Okorotere Island and the northern end of Mahurangi Island (Goat Island).

Part of the marine reserve lies off the Cathedral Cove Recreation Reserve, which runs from the northern end of Hahei Beach in the south-east to beyond Cathedral Cove in the north-west. With attractions such as a natural rock archway and neighbouring beaches at Cathedral Cove, the area is very popular with tourists, and receives around 150,000 visitors per year.[2]


The Māori name for Mercury Bay, Te Whanganui-A-Hei (meaning the Great Bay of Hei), refers to Hei, a tohunga from the Te Arawa waka. According to tradition, Hei chose the area around Mercury Bay as home for his tribe, proclaiming ownership by calling Motueka Island "Te Kuraetanga-o-taku-Ihu" (the outward curve of my nose). It is said he made this claim near the present-day town of Hahei.[3]

Pop Culture[edit]

The cave and beach were used as the tunnel through which the Pevensie children first re-enter Narnia in the movie version of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.[4] More recently the cove was used as one of the locations in the music video for the song "Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Marine Reserve (Whanganui A Hei (Cathedral Cove)) Order 1992 (SR 1992/387)". New Zealand Government. 24 December 1992. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  2. ^ O'Rourke, Simon (2 November 2007). "Billionaire in coast dust-up". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Whanganui A Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve". Department of Conservation. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  4. ^ Peck, Sally (12 August 2016). "12 fantasy film locations that really exist - in New Zealand". The Telegraph. Retrieved 28 January 2021.

External links[edit]