Hahei is a seaside town in Mercury Bay on the east side of the Coromandel Peninsula in northern New Zealand. Cruising boats depart for trips to Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve and its abundant sea-life. Hahei is a popular holiday destination, with a white sandy beach and sheltered aspect, resulting in safe sheltered swimming waters. The famous Hot Water Beach, where geothermal springs come up through the sand around low tide, is 6 km away.
Coromandel Peninsula is on the north-eastern coast of the North Island, due east from Auckland. Hahei's resident population is around 300, but in peak holiday periods the population swells nine times. The town centre has a gift shop, a general store with a petrol station and a takeaways bar, and a dive shop. Holiday-related businesses include kayaking, snorkelling and boat trips to Cathedral Cove and the Marine Reserve.
Turn off the main road between Tairua and Whitianga at Whenuakite. About half way from there to Hahei, a road turns off to Hot Water Beach. Hahei is a 40-minute drive from Whitianga, and a 15-minute drive from Ferry Landing, which is a short passenger ferry trip from Whitianga.
- 1 Cathedral Cove walk. The track starts at the carpark on Grange Rd, at the northern end of Hahei. The walk down to the cove takes 35 mins one way. Stingray Bay is 20 mins from carpark. The walk back takes 45 mins. The cove has a limestone rock arch that separates two sandy beaches. At peak summer time, the Grange Rd carpark is usually full, so use the park-and-ride shuttle that operates from the entrance to the town from 27 Dec through January and Waitangi weekend – fares are $5 adult, $3 child up to 15 years, $10 family (up to 2 adults and 2 children).
- 2 Te Pare Historic Reserve, Pa Rd. Two Maori pa sites on the headland at the southern end of Hahei Beach. A 15-minute walk with great views.
- Cathedral Cove Dive & Snorkel.
- Cathedral Cove Kayak Tours, 88 Hahei Beach Rd. Tours of several hours or up to a full day.
- Gemstone Bay Snorkel Trail. Ten min from carpark on the Cathedral Cove walk. There are four buoys with interpretation panels attached that identify sea-life. The buoys have handles you can hold on to, if you want a bit of assistance while snorkeling.
- Hahei Explorer, south end of Hahei Beach. Boat tour to Cathedral Cove in Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve.
- 1 Hot Water Beach (6 km from Hahei). Water from two hot springs comes up through the sand on one part of the beach within two hours each side of low tide and you can dig your own hot pool. At the points where the water comes up, it is about 64°C (147°F), which is too hot to bathe in, so you need to dig a pool a little further away and let the hot water run down into it. Spades for hire at the cafes for $5.
- 1 Hahei General Store, 46 Hahei Beach Rd. Small dairy (convenience store).
- 1 The Church Restaurant, 87 Beach Rd. Tu–Sa from 5:30pm. Restaurant and holiday cottages Mains $21–29.
- 2 Hahei Beach Cafe, 3 Grange Rd. From 8:30am.
- Ice Cream Parlour & Pizzeria, Shop 3, Grange Rd.
- 3 The Pour House, 7 Grange Rd. Restaurant, craft brewery and pub.
- The Pour House. See 'Eat' section above.
There are numerous accommodation providers not listed here.
- 1 Hahei Holiday Resort, 41 Harsant Ave. Campsites, cabins, backpackers lodge, villas, bungalows and studios.
- 2 Tatahi Lodge, 19 Grange Rd. Motel, cottages and 23 bed backpackers