Cathedral Cove Scenic Cruises
By Pauline Stewart
“The caves were amazing.”
“The information Ken tells us is very good and so interesting. “
“Because it is a small group, we can ask questions and hear the answers.”
“Our small children have loved it too as it is not too long for them.”
“We went swimming. The water was so clean and not cold.”
“We were comfortable in the Cathedral Cove boat and could see everything.”
These were some of the comments offered to The informer when chatting to people after they had booked and experienced a Cathedral Cove Scenic Cruise wth Ken Hindmarsh.
The cruises depart daily from the Whitianga Wharf on The Esplanade in Whitianga. Tours are 2.5 hours long – with spectacular views and if you are lucky, seals, bird life, and fish. Dolphins and orca, on rare occasions, can be part of the tour experience.
This is Ken's tenth summer as owner of Cathedral Cove Scenic Cruises, having purchased the business in December 2013. One could celebrate it as a 10th summer birthday, but it was the most difficult summer Ken has experienced with hardly a day of sunshine and the threat of storms, heavy rain, and strong winds was often present, making a tour of the exquisite Cathedral Cove impossible.
Now, in the early days of March’s autumn, sunshine is offering more hope and the daily tours are in full swing. Ken shakes off the recent terrible spell of bad weather to give his customers the best experience. “It’s not just this summer,” says Ken. “We have had three bad summers with two covid years when we were down 90% of our custom, and then this season has meant we are 60% down. We simply could not offer the usual experience due to not only the rain, but the consistent, strong, easterly winds which mean rough sea conditions.” We always endeavour to provide the best for our passengers.
Ken came to Whitianga with his wife, Lesley, when he was made redundant form his corporate job in Auckland. Lesley is an audiologist and studied for her Master's Degree while living in Auckland and worked there for 10 years before the shift to Coromandel when they bought the boat business. Lesley has been managing the Bay Audiology clinic in Whitianga for the last six years. Meanwhile Ken was building his tour business.
Ken's message to visitors, "we encourage the day-trippers to tackle the road network. It is only 30 minutes or so longer to get here. Drive the scenic route and make time to have a coffee break. Take photos. Both routes can offer some very picturesque locations."
Ken smiles, "It's worth it."
The Informer asked Ken, “Do you miss Auckland, and your corporate life?” The smile broadens and he says, “What do you think?”
Caption: Windborne skipper, Avon Hansford stands with happy tourists from Cathedral Cove Scenic Cruises - from left: Avon, Sailesh, Amanda with Zara and baby Bodhi, Barbara van Niel Schuuren and Emmanual Thivent.