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Iconic Coromandel visitor spot Cathedral Cove has been temporarily closed to the public due to an ongoing landslip and rockfall risk. File photo: SUPPLIED

Rangers to be stationed at Coromandel’s Cathedral Cove, toilets to be removed by helicopter

Tiaki (conservation) rangers will be stationed on-site at Cathedral Cove throughout the summer season. 

Thames-Coromandel District Council said their responsibilities involve educating visitors about potential risks and the current closure of the Cathedral Cove archway. 

They will also promote other sites people can visit within the Hahei and Coromandel region.

Council, Ngāti Hei, and Department of Conservation recently met in Whitianga to discuss options, roles, and responsibilities around the visitor experience at Hahei.

This included expanding and reimagining local visitor experiences and improving climate resilience. The focus is on enabling valuable visitor experiences that embrace the heritage and cultural significance of the area.

Signage has been installed to alert visitors of the risks at the Cathedral Cove site. Photo: SUPPLIED/TCDC

Signage has been installed at boat ramps and along the beach at Cathedral Cove, explaining the risks at the site. DOC is collaborating with local iwi and boat operators to maintain the natural beauty of the area while explaining current risks.

“For their safety, we strongly encourage individuals to heed this guidance and make well-informed decisions prior to visiting,” council said.

“The safest course of action remains to avoid visiting the beach altogether.”

The cove can still be viewed from the sea and tour operators will be working throughout the summer season as weather permits.

Those planning to access the cove by sea are advised to check weather, sea and tide conditions first. 

Meanwhile, DOC has announced it will be decommissioning and removing toilets located on the Cathedral Cove beach in line with the decision to keep the track closed for this summer. 

“The structure is in a rockfall and landslide hazard area and was compromised by last summer’s extreme weather events,” DOC said.

“Ngāti Hei has previously voiced its concern about the toilet block and whether it is appropriate for the location.

“Additionally, the removal of the toilets aligns with DOC’s ‘pack in pack out’ strategy, and will also help restore the cultural significance of the beach.”

DOC has engaged local contractors to remove the toilet block, and they will start safely dismantling and packaging the structural material this week before it is removed from the beach by helicopter. DOC will inform marine operators before the helicopter operation takes place. 

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