1 Hour (return) 2 km


  • Fossil hunt
  • Hand carved tunnel
  • Sandstone coastline



The track is at its best around low tide.

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.

Tunnel Beach, Dunedin

For centuries the Southern Ocean and its salt-laden wind have sculpted the sandstone coastline south of Dunedin. The outcome is a line of magnificent high cliffs, arches and headlands that provide endless vantage points for breathtaking views.

Follow the fenced track downhill to the spectacular, rocky coastline. At the end of the track you will find the handcarved rock tunnel that gives Tunnel Beach it's name. Built in the 1870s, the passage allows access to a secluded and sheltered beach at the base of the cliffs.

Be sure to examine the rock along the way, where you may discover shell fragments and possibly a fossil, such as a brachiopod shell or echinoderm (sea urchin), or even bones of an extinct whale.

Above, tenacious plant species, such as spleenwort, happily exist in the absence of soil. 

Department of Conservation

Track conditions often change. Be prepared by checking with the Department of Conservation before you go.

Tunnel Beach Track(opens in new window)

More information

Getting there

  • Tunnel Beach is located off the Dunedin to Brighton coastal road.
  • The track starts from the car park at the seaward end of Green Island Bush Road, off Blackhead Road.
  • Public transport to the track start is available.

Need to Know

  •  This track crosses private land – respect the landowner’s property and livestock.

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