|Your Complete Guide to New Zealand's Beautiful Coromandel Peninsula
(Cathedral Cove Marine
Go to the official DOC site here.
Whanganui A Hei.
Te Whanganui-A-Hei is the first reserve established on the Coromandel
Peninsula, and in the Department of Conservation's Waikato Conservancy.
Officially named Te Whanga A Hei: (Cathedral Cove), the reserve was gazetted in 1993.
Covering a total of nine square kilometres, Te Whanganui-A-Hei thus became New Zealand's
sixth official marine reserve.
To Map of Reserve.
are Marine Reserves?
For many years people have been protecting sites within the coast
and shallow sea for special purposes, like harbours, marine farming, communications cables
and dumping sites.
Now, areas are being set aside for the natural regeneration of the marine environment.
These will be left unspoilt and unexploited, for education and science, and to provide
opportunities for the public to explore and enjoy the undersea world.
is this Area Important?
The habitats found between and around Motukorure, Moturoa,
Motueka and Mahurangi Islands are complex, diverse and of high quality. The mosaic of
reefs and soft sediments support many plant, fish, mollusc and crustacean communities.
All are accessible in sheltered locations providing opportunities for research and
education, and other experiences not currently available to tourists, holidaymakers and
Interpretive signs are located at Hahei Beach, Wigmore Stream, Cook's Beach and
Whitianga launching ramps. Those signs have maps showing reserve boundaries, as well as
other information about the reserve.
The reserve boundaries are physically marked by large white posts placed on the islands
and at each end of the mainland boundary.
If you are unsure of the reserve boundaries please refer to the signs, or seek additional
information from the Department of Conservation.
Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve
for Tangata Whenua.
Te Whanganui A Hei is part of a special area first recognised by Hei, a tohunga
(priest) on Te Arawa waka at the time of the great migration to New Zealand, circa 1350AD.
On the Northward voyage from the Bay of Plenty to Hauraki, Hei selected the area around
Mercury Bay on which to settle his people, proclaiming ownership of the area by referring
to Motueka Island as "Te Kuraetanga-o-taku-Ihu" ("The outward curve of my
It is said he made this claim near the present day site of Hahei. Hei's descendants, as
Tangata Whenua, still retain a strong ancestral and spiritual attachment to the site, and
continue their role as gardians, or Kaitiaki of the bountiful resources within it.
Hahei Beach - Photo
Hot Water Beach - Photo
Coromandel Peninsula New Zealand