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Cathedral Cove EarthCache

Hidden : 08/06/2011
1.5 out of 5
3.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

Cathedral Cove is a marine reserve on the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand situated on the North Island.

Cathedral Cove covers 9 square kilometres and is New Zealand’s sixth marine reserve. It is administered by the Department of Conservation. This site was chosen for a marine reserve because of the rich and varied habitats associated with the coastline and outlying islands. Reefs of hard rock, soft sediments, intricate caves and underwater arches provide homes for complex communities of plants, crustaceans, molluscs and fish.

On the Coromandel Peninsula and in the north of the central North Island, the greywacke is masked by great thicknesses of volcanic rock. Greywacke forms the mountain ranges in both the North and South islands. This drab-looking rock consists of beds of muddy grey sandstone alternating with thinner layers of darker mudstone. Cliffs surrounding Cathedral Cove are made of white massive ignimbrite, a rock produced by explosive volcanic eruptions about eight million years ago.

The clean sand consists of coarse quartz and other hard components like feldspars, with few shell fragments. There are no dunes on this beach due to
its small size.

A little way off the beach is a large pinnacle of pumice breccia rock known as Te Hoho. Over centuries this has been sculpted by wind and water and it
now looks like the prow of a large ship steaming into the beach.

From the north end of the beach, a one hour walking track leads along the cliff top and then descends to the stunningly beautiful Cathedral Cove. Here a gigantic arched cavern passes through a white rock headland to join two secluded coves. The cathedral-like arch gives whole area an air of grandeur. The beach is sandy with shady pohutukawa trees along the foreshore - a perfect place for a picnic and a swim!

This recreation reserve, gifted to the nation in the 1980s by Vaughan and Doreen Harsant boasts some of New Zealand's most spectacular coastal scenery. A walking track gives access to near-by bays and the beautiful sandy beach at Cathedral Cove. A cove is a small type of bay or coastal inlet. They usually have narrow, restricted entrances, are often circular or oval, and are often inside a larger bay. Small, narrow, sheltered bays, inlets, creeks, or recesses in a coast are often considered coves. Colloquially, the term can be used to describe a sheltered bay. Geomorphology describes coves as precipitously walled and rounded cirque-like openings as in a valley extending into or down a mountainside, or in a hollow or nook of a cliff or steep mountainside.

In 2010 New Zealand was hit by a cyclone resulting in a massive amount of damage to Cathedral Cove & its surrounding areas. The cove was almost lost and because of this I have decided to make it an earth cache. I feel that such a beautiful natural form must be seen before its too late!

To get this cache you must:

1) What is the name of the Cyclone that hit CC in 2010?

2) On average how many tourists visit Cathedral Cove per year?

3) Please find an example of ignimbrite and take a photo & provide it on your log.


Please note the duration of the walk from the car park to Cathedral Cove is 2.5miles and can take 1hour 30min to reach and return.
The terrain is VERY steep and cobbles/stones.
Flip Flops are not correct footware for such a walk.

Please always remember sun cream as the cove is a nice sun trap!

Additional Hints (No hints available.)