How to Visit Tunnel Beach in Dunedin (Don’t Miss This Walk!)

Tunnel Beach

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!

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.

Tunnel Beach Dunedin

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! 

Tunnel Beach Walking Track

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!

Tunnel Beach Track

Tunnel at Tunnel Beach

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 New Zealand

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! 

โ†’ South Island New Zealand Itinerary: 4 Amazing One Week Routes

Tunnel Beach in Dunedin

Have any questions on the Tunnel Beach tides or want to share your own fun experience? Leave a comment below! 

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar



New Zealand Travel Planning 

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.

 Rental Car: If youโ€™re not renting a van you’ll still need a vehicle to get around. We use Discover Cars when traveling and enjoy having the freedom to get around.

 Flights: It’s easy to find cheap flight deals using Skyscanner and Kayak. That’s how we got flights from Auckland to Queenstown for $40 USD, and New Zealand to Fiji for less than $150! 

 Accommodation: Compare multiple sites for the best deal such as and Agoda! Also,  Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

 Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find activities all over New Zealand! They have everything from a Milford Sound cruise with underwater observatory, to a Otago wine tour with gourmet wine & lunch, and even a Kaikoura whale watching cruise

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for insurance the last few years and they are always there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

South Island New Zealand

Travel Tips & Guides:  10 Helpful NZ Travel TipsNorth Island Itinerary25 Beautiful BeachesWellington to Picton Ferry15 Freedom Camping Tips27 Delicious Food & Drinks7 Milford Sound Tips

Queenstown: Ben Lomond TrackFergburger (Is it Worth It?)Tiki Trail HikeFun Wine TourQueenstown Hill Hike18 Fun Queenstown Things to DoQueenstown RestaurantsArrowtown NZ

North Coast: Abel Tasman Day HikeWharariki Beach & Archway Islands6 Picton Things to Do 

East Coast: Banks PeninsulaFrench Town of AkaroaHanmer SpringsKaikoura

Mt. Cook & Tekapo: 10 Mount Cook TipsHooker Valley Track5 Can’t Miss Lake Tekapo 

โ†’ Explore all our North Island New Zealand Travel Tips & Guides

South Island New Zealand

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  1. Diane Leblanc
    January 17, 2023 / 8:57 pm

    We will be on a cruise. How can we get to Tunnel Beach from the port?

    • Brigitte & Jake
      January 17, 2023 / 11:35 pm

      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 (-:

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