Not far from the busy city center of Dunedin is the walk to Tunnel Beach no traveler should miss! Strolling along the stunning cliffs, you will witness a different side of the country’s stunning east coast. Let us break down everything to know with plenty of Tunnel Beach track pictures, tides info, and much more!
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How to Get to Tunnel Beach Dunedin
Location: Tunnel Beach Dunedin
Time Needed: 1-1.5 Hours Round Trip
Swimming: Not Recommended
Tunnel Beach is just a short 15 minute drive from the city center and it’s more than worth it for the scenery! Follow Tunnel Beach road all the way to the end.
Here you’ll find parking on the right side as you pull in. The trail down to Tunnel Beach will be straight forward and clearly marked by signs.
The Steep Tunnel Beach Track
As you make your way down the hill to Tunnel Beach in Dunedin you’ll immediately be surrounded by beauty. The flowers and other nature are only outdone by the epic views of the ocean. Once we started to get closer, we couldn’t believe how special this spot truly is!
A massive rock formation sticks out from the cliffs where we could see people walking out to the edge. It will only take you about 20 minutes to get down the Tunnel Beach track, but as you can imagine… The way up will be a little longer!
Going Through the Famous Tunnel
After you’ve walked out on the ledge and taken in the views, it’s time to head down to the actual Tunnel Beach! This historic tunnel was built in 1876 by John Cargill who once had a private residence nearby.
The long, dark tunnel takes you down to the beautiful Tunnel Beach below where the waves crash under the cliffs. Watch your step down the stairs as they are often wet and slippery!
More Tips For Tunnel Beach Dunedin
Narrow Tunnel: When you walk through the tunnel you’ll see that it is very narrow and leaves no room for anyone to pass. Make sure no one is heading up or down before making your way in.
Tunnel Beach Tides: At high tide the sand is completely covered. This means it’s best to plan a visit during low tide to explore the area, and enjoy a complete view of the beach from below.
Swimming: If you want to jump in the water head to nearby Saint Clair Beach for a quick dip. Tunnel Beach is unfortunately not safe for swimming!
Slippery: Just like the stairs, the rocks on the Tunnel Beach walk are also slippery. Be extra careful if you’re climbing on them to take pictures.
Tunnel Beach Walk Back
Now that you’ve explored the amazing Tunnel Beach in New Zealand your day isn’t quite yet done! Sure the way down was easy, but this Dunedin hike should take you about 30 minutes to get back up.
Even though it’s incredibly steep, at least you’ll have the amazing views of Tunnel Beach and the surrounding cliffs to see once more!
→ South Island New Zealand Itinerary: 4 Amazing One Week Routes
Have any questions on the Tunnel Beach tides or want to share your own fun experience? Leave a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
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Jucy Van: The best way to explore New Zealand is with a Jucy camper! We spent over six weeks driving around the North and South Islands in a van and loved every moment.
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South Island New Zealand
Travel Tips & Guides: 10 Helpful NZ Travel Tips – North Island Itinerary – 25 Beautiful Beaches – Wellington to Picton Ferry – 15 Freedom Camping Tips – 27 Delicious Food & Drinks – 7 Milford Sound Tips
Queenstown: Ben Lomond Track – Fergburger (Is it Worth It?) – Tiki Trail Hike – Fun Wine Tour – Queenstown Hill Hike – 18 Fun Queenstown Things to Do – Queenstown Restaurants – Arrowtown NZ
North Coast: Abel Tasman Day Hike – Wharariki Beach & Archway Islands – 6 Picton Things to Do
East Coast: Banks Peninsula – French Town of Akaroa – Hanmer Springs – Kaikoura
Mt. Cook & Tekapo: 10 Mount Cook Tips – Hooker Valley Track – 5 Can’t Miss Lake Tekapo
→ Explore all our North Island New Zealand Travel Tips & Guides
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We will be on a cruise. How can we get to Tunnel Beach from the port?
It looks like you’d have to rent a car to get from that far away. There’s so many fun things to do though in this area that it’s probably worth it! Have a great trip (-: