Tunnel Beach, New Zealand

Where is Tunnel Beach?

The Tunnel Beach as the name suggests is a handmade tunnel that provides access to the beach. The Tunnel Beach is two kilometers from the South of Dunedin and near Brighton coastal road. The tunnel is made out of rock on the beach and is hand carved so that one would get to the base of the sheltered beach. One has to enter a private farm land and then get into the tunnel.

Tunnel Beach has a rocky shoreline that comprises of cliffs as well as rocks that are protruding out of the water. A small parking lot is the place where you begin to walk to the beach. It takes almost 45 minutes to come back from the beach.

History of Tunnel Beach

The tunnel was ordered to be made by a local politician, John Cargill, who was the son of Captain William Cargill. The tunnel to the beach was made in 1870s so as to get easy access to the beach. He then gifted the tunnel to his daughter. The whole tunnel was designed by New Zealand architect Frances William Petre.

Nowadays the tunnel is in good shape and visitors love to take a look at the beach and spend some time beneath the rocky cliff or from the rocky cliff above.


Why visit

The Tunnel beach is popular for its breathtaking view from above the rocks and even from the beach. It is also known to be a romantic spot here in Dunedin coastal city. It is best seen at low tide; however, it does provide a great view during high tide as well. The magnificent sandstone rock arch gives you a fantastic view of the beach and the sea. The waters are crystal clear and you can also see fossil filled cliffs on every side of the rocks.

For those who want to have a day’s picnic or to spend quality time with your loved one can visit the place as it is quite secluded except for other visitors who visit the place for the same reason, besides getting a great view of the sea.


What not to miss

Tunnel beach is not just the only place you will be visiting when you are in Dunedin. Places around the Tunnel beach are also exciting and provide lots of entertainment activities for kids, singles and couples as well. Dunedin provides lots of water sports and activities that involve adventures as well. There are many other beaches that provide for surfing and swimming. The St. Clair beach is the most popular one and you can see a lot of rush on the weekends.



There are no accommodations on the Tunnel beach, but there are lots of options nearby as Tunnel beach is situated in the city of Dunedin. There are many fantastic places to stay nearby. One can opt for luxurious hotels or even affordable stays in the main city. The hotels provide all the modern facilities as well as great restaurants that are complete with international cuisines.


Tunnel beach on Youtube

Explore the sea-carved sandstone cliffs, rock arches and caves at Tunnel Beach; look for fossils as you descend through the pioneers’ hand-carved tunnel.

For centuries the great southern ocean and its salt-laden wind have sculpted the sandstone coastline south of Dunedin. The outcome is a line of high cliffs, arches and headlands that provide endless vantage points for breathtaking views as the ocean continues its relentless artistry.

Tunnel Beach, just two kilometres south of Dunedin, draws its name from a passage that was hand carved in the 1870s through a rock promontory to allow access to a secluded and sheltered beach at the base of the cliffs.



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