Cathedral Caves (Map reference No 8)

The Trust is pleased to advise that access to Cathedral Caves is now possible. Some of the sand has been replaced however there is still a knee deep water hole at the first entrance so access is through the second entrance. Continued access will be dependent on weather conditions so in the event of further rough seas and high tides the access gate may be closed at short notice. Every effort will be made to notify closure however in some cases the only notification will be on the sign boards at the Southern Scenic Route entrance. The walking track is in top condition after recent major maintenance and now we just need Mother Nature to cooperate


The Cathedral Caves in the Catlins are a short 600 meters from The Catlins Eco Tourism Park

The Cathedral Caves in the Catlins - access is only available two hours either side of low tide. A flashlight is essential to visit these caves, as they interconnect in total darkness almost 100 meters inside the main entrance. They consist of five caves along the Waipati Beach, with some as high as 20 meters. Wave-carved from the soft sandstone compressed between the harder sedimentary rock of this spectacular syncline formation, they are truly impressive when observed at low tide from Waipati Beach. The shy native blue penguins and rare but curious blinking large-eyed fur seals are often seen in the total darkness far back in the recesses of these caves. The Cathedral Caves in the Catlins are situated in a gated access area and are a steep scenic bush walk down to this remote beach. The Cathedral Caves in the Catlins are one of the biggest draw cards of the Catlins and have to be considered a “must see”!

Many independent and campervan travellers have often, due to lack of a place to stay, missed out on visiting The Cathedral Caves in the Catlins due to their tidal nature. Many times the Cathedral Caves in the Catlins are open either early in the morning or late in the evening during the long summer twilight hours.

View tide times. Will open in new window)



Download our map to be your guide on your Catlins Hike and Drive. This is your perfect compaion and, best of all, it is free!

The Catlins New Zealand

There is so much to see and do in this amazing area of New Zealand's South Island. Whether you are a hiking enthusiastic or a weekend stroller, the many attractions offer an incredible diversity of flora, fauna and scenery.

contact details

Ph 03 415 8338

Rewcastle Rd,
The Catlins,
New Zealand

On the Southern Scenic Route