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The Internet is bombarded with images of gorgeous places to see, however sometimes when you visit them they can be quite underwhelming. This was not the case with Tunnel Beach. I have seen plenty online from it, but seeing it in person is spectacular. I was like a kid in a candy store - excited doesn’t quite cover it.
The beach is well known with both tourists and locals alike. When we arrived there were a few people hanging out on the cliff edge, trying to capture that picture perfect landscape on camera. This isn’t a hard task, as you are greeted with beautiful views of the sea-chiseled, sandstone cliffs all around.
The tunnel that guides you down to the secluded beach was hand-carved by John Cargill as a secluded place for the family to bathe. So secluded in fact I walked right past it originally. Walking down the steps through the manmade tunnel, you are met with a cool breeze (which was welcomed given the heat) and the sound of crashing waves. As soon as I stepped onto the sand, I was astounded by the sheer scale of the cliffs, rising straight up from the ground and casting me in their shadow. Huge boulders litter the beach (although watch out for sleeping seals as they are well camouflaged against rocks). As you look over the water and follow the coastline there are epic cliffs, with wild shapes carved in by the crashing waves.
Although relatively small in comparison with some of Dunedin’s other famous beaches, Tunnel Beach is an absolutely stunning place, and definitely well worth the steep, leg-burning walk back to the car.