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  • Bex Hill

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Updated: Nov 7, 2022

Tunnel Beach - DUNEDIN

One of the special places you can visit with me while on a Dunedin tour is Tunnel Beach.

For thousands of years the sea has sculpted a dramatic scene into the sandstone cliffs a 10 minute drive from the Dunedin City Centre. The founder of the Otago settlement was William Cargill. His son, John, ordered a tunnel dug to a hidden beach in the 1870s - supposedly so that his family could have a private place to bathe (namely for the decorum of his girls supposedly)

The story passed down through the generations is that 1 possibly 2 of his daughters drowned at this beach however no records seem able to prove if this is a myth or not, that aside the hand dug tunnel with 72 slippery steps ( yes Ive counted and slipped) lead to the private beach which is best accessed at low tide, you may even find yourself sharing the beach with the local wild life as this area is frequented by seals and sea lions, however please respect our wild-life it is their beach and we request that if they are present you never stand in between then and the water and always stay 10 metres away from the wildly massive creatures as they can run extremely fast and have huge teeth!

Access to Tunnel beach is located at the end of Tunnel beach road if your using a GPS to navigate The track is well constructed but it drops down onto the beach at a steep gradient with a gravel path. It is common to go down easily but some do struggle to ascend again. There is a park bench or 2 to rest on if required and personally I look forward to these graciously placed seats. The walk down to the beach is no more than 10 minutes however allow a good 20 – 30 minutes for your return.

Is it worth it? Definitely a walk that you will remember for so many reasons!

Want to walk it with me? – simply hit contact us and Ill happily share this part of Dunedin with you!

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