We drove from Auckland to visit Mercury Bay on the Coromandel Peninsula and spent the afternoon at Cathedral Cove; accessible only on foot or kayak. The area is very popular with tourists, and receives around 150,000 visitors a year. The Maori name Te Whanganui-A-Hei (the Great Bay of Hei) refers to Hei, a tohunga from the Te Arawa waka. According to tradition, Hei chose the area around Mercury Bay as home for his tribe, proclaiming ownership by calling Motueka Island “Te Kuraetanga-o-taku-Ihu” (the outward curve of my nose.) It is a beautiful walk down from the National Parks entrance to the sandy beach inside the cove. The hike back up is a little daunting, expect to grunt and moan a few times. Don’t forget to stop, stare at the surrounding islands and smell the wild flowers.