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Southern Scenic Road Trip: Wildlife Safari Road Trip, The Catlins

Cathedral Caves

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Native bush of New Zealand on the way to Cathedral Cave Native bush of New Zealand on the way to Cathedral Cave

The Caves are well signposted from the main road. From the car park there is a 1 km easy walking track through lush coastal forest to the beach. Visitors cross Maori freehold land, which is managed by a trust.  There is a fee to visit the caves. Catlins | Tides | Tide times and visiting times. Only at low tide are these gigantic caves on the beach accessible. With their impressive height, they are reminiscent of a cathedral on the inside and thus the reason behind the name. It is thought provoking to enter these caves knowing that just a few hours later, they will be completely flooded again. You cannot help but monitor any tidal movement to ensure you are not trapped.


The car park to the Cathedral Caves is just a short detour from the Southern Scenic Route. From the car park, you’ll encounter a 15-minute path that leads you downhill through the forest and to the beach. Once you get to the beach, make a left and you will reach the cave in about another 5 minutes.


Motorhomes check your width as the road is narrow and winding.

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