Tunnel Beach

Dunedin City District

Tunnel Beach and the urban myth

If your in Dunedin and haven't been here, this should really be at the top of your list. The walk and view are exquisite. The photography is outstanding, at low tide you can get into a nice cave and watch the waves roll toward you.


From Dunedin, head up though Corstorphine and take Blackhead Rd toward the south. Turn onto Tunnel Beach Rd and park at the end. The walk is quite steep but well looked after, remember your camera!

Other adventures in close proximity

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Tunnel beach was once just a beach that a lonely whaler could wash ashore on for some piece and quiet. Not today I'm afraid. The Cargill family had there roots in this town of ours, deeper than any other by far. In 1870, John Cargill ( One of the sons of William Cargill ) had a tunnel caved out of the Caversham Sandstone down to the secluded beach below. There are many a myth and legend surrounding this tunnel and his reasons for it's construction. Some say that his Daughter drowned there after he built it. Some say his daughter drowned at St Clair in a riptide. Some even say two daughters drowned. Lets just be clear, there are no paper records to this drowning. Just a legend being passed around.

This day and age there is a great arch spanning over a section of ocean, you will see it as soon as you start walking down the hill towards the ocean. It's very impressive, but our forefathers would of see a much grander sight, Just a little further up the coast, in plain view, are some sea stacks sticking out on the next headland. These used to be a massive double sea arch, until one day in the 1960's they crashed down into the water in a great storm. Sadly I fear that this will happen to the last arch standing. If you stand out on this arch now, you will feel it shudder every time a wave hits. Quite an unnerving feeling.

Still shaking - Stu