South-west of Dunedin, lies the Tunnel Beach which is the brainchild of John Cargill. Some say that Cargill’s daughter drowned at St Clair Beach in a riptide. In the memory of his daughter, he built this tunnel in 1870. While others dismiss it as a hoax. Take a look at some of the interesting facts about this unique beach.
1. Private beach of the Cargill family
This tunnel beach was commissioned by the New Zealand politician, John Cargill. With this, he gave his family access to a secluded beach surrounded by sandstone cliffs. Offering privacy and picturesque vistas, it is one of the romantic spots in Dunedin.
2. 72 steps to reach this beach
You will have to trek across a private farmland and then take this naturally lit tunnel. A torch can be of help while passing through it. This tunnel has 72 steps which will take you to the beach. This excursion takes around an hour back and forth. Don’t plan your trip between August to October as it is closed due to the lambing season.
Image courtesy: instagram.com/best_apisit
3. Dangerous ocean currents
Once you’ve stepped on the beach, the breathtaking views of the sea and sea-carved sandstone cliffs will transport you to an altogether different world. Strong currents of this ocean do not make this beach ideal for swimming. To be on the safe side, visit this place during low tide. You can stay onshore and capture shots of the scenic views of these majestic cliffs.
Image courtesy: instagram.com/emilypeilan
4. Treasure trove of shell fragments
This place is home to various shell fragments, fossils such as sea urchin and brachiopod shell and plant species like spleenwort.
5. Ancient engravings on the walls
Travellers have left their mark by engraving their names and dates of visit on the sandstone walls of this place. Some of them have been washed away by the tidal waves over the years. Browse through them and see if you’re able to track the oldest one.
Best time to visit
November to May
How to reach Tunnel Beach
By flight: Nearest airport, Dunedin (New Zealand)
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Author : Vijaylaxmi Thakur