This beautiful bay was the filming location for some of Prince Caspian, and honestly I’m not sure why every movie isn’t shot here.
The place is, understandably, popular. Your first experience will likely be the complete anarchy and chaos that is the carpark. But once you have made your way through the melee and found a spot for your car, possibly in another country, it’s still about a 30 minute walk down to the cove.
This is not a problem, as the walk offers up view after view.
The path itself is wide and mostly gravel. Some of our group chose to go barefoot, a decision which was universally regretted by those who made it. Not that I’m going to name any of them by name.
The path does occasionally fall under slight tree cover. There is also the occasional tree attempting to eat a rock.
The trail, which is for obvious reasons almost entirely downhill on the way to the cove, becomes quite steeply downhill near the end. But then you get to the beach and you don’t care.
We, mostly through luck, timed our arrival well. The sun was making its leisurely way down to the horizon as we made our less leisurely way down to the beach.
One distinctive feature of Cathedral Cove is this natural rock tunnel.
I assume it’s natural, anyway. Either way, I’m glad it’s there since there’s plenty more beach on the other side.
The nice sandy beach does give way to a more rocky shoreline, but the intrepid explorer can climb his or her way out much further than we went.
There’s also trees and driftwood right up on the beach, and Taylor showed off his impressive balance by striking a pose.
Either someone or several someones decided to make an entire village of rock stacks.
Near the archway is this interesting-looking rock formation. Makes me think of Kronk’s head (from The Emperor’s New Groove) (all of Kronk is from The Emperor’s New Groove, not just his head. I’m not sure that I really needed to clarify that, but the phrasing was a little weird).
The rock formation is quite large; here’s Taylor conveniently providing scale.
But you’re not here for the shenanigans, you’re here for the scenery.
Out over the bay at full zoom on the big lens.
Sunset from the top.
Sunset from the bottom.
From inside the archway.
Other side of the rock.
(OK, I may have retouched this photo a bit. Original here for comparison purposes. But it does look quite nice, no?)
From the walk back up. Just wow. What a beautiful country.
I’ve been to many places in New Zealand and seen many beautiful things. I’ve been to spots so secluded I so no other person the entire time I was walking there. And I’ve been to spots so popular I doubted I could add anything of value to the global photographic conversation. And I tell you…Cathedral Cove is the real deal. It is absolutely stunning.
I’m glad that this post falls where it is. Next post will be…a bit special, and a bit different. See you then :)