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Cathedral Caves Walk

| Pratt Road, Catlins coastal area, New Zealand
+64 3-211 2400
Review Highlights
get there before low tide

We stayed at the Whistling Frog and you really need to allow a good 30-45 mins to drive, park and... read more

Reviewed February 9, 2016
Great adventure but not strictly a 'must do'

Cathedral Caves were open when we were in the Catlins area but it meant spending a whole day... read more

Reviewed January 29, 2016
Read all 86 reviews
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  • Excellent47%
  • Very good32%
  • Average12%
  • Poor3%
  • Terrible6%
Travelers talk about
“low tide” (44 reviews)
“tide times” (7 reviews)
“car park” (15 reviews)
Suggested Duration: < 1 hour
| Pratt Road, Catlins coastal area, New Zealand
+64 3-211 2400

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Reviews (86)
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21 - 30 of 76 reviews

Reviewed February 9, 2016

We stayed at the Whistling Frog and you really need to allow a good 30-45 mins to drive, park and walk down the lovely bush path so that you reach the beach and caves just before low tide. By the time we got there the...More

Thank AucklandTorro
Reviewed January 29, 2016

Cathedral Caves were open when we were in the Catlins area but it meant spending a whole day hanging around to catch the low tide. It was a 'Must do' according to others and so we spent the day cruising the other sites in the...More

Thank olthomas44
Reviewed January 4, 2016 via mobile

Our family of five enjoyed the Cathedral caves visit. I checked the tidal timing from their website and were about the time at the highway when the gate was opened. You drive around 2km before the parking and ticketing. This attraction is extremely cheap compared...More

Thank zzzerman
Reviewed November 12, 2015

We looked on the net last night and information said open early November , were up early this morning to get there at the right times for the tides. arrived there to find 5 other vehicles with stunned looking visitors looking at access closed sign....More

Thank Louieathens
Reviewed July 11, 2015

Despite extensive research, we were unaware that this stunning natural attraction is apparently closed for winter. Even the Department of Conservation website says only that from May to October (winter hours) it is open just for weekends and school holidays. So having trekked to the...More

Thank pauashel
Reviewed June 3, 2015

You can access the caves about 2 hours before and after low tide. It costs $5 cash for the permit to access the beach. The walk down is pleasant and fairly downhill, which makes for a quite a difficult walk back. We had plenty of...More

Thank SamanthaLetten
Reviewed March 16, 2015

There is a $5 per person charge to walk down to the caves on the sometimes rough and steep track...can't really see where the money goes...many public (DOC) tracks are better maintained. The caves are OK as far as caves go...not too much to see...More

1  Thank TillyHolmes
Reviewed March 6, 2015

Getting your timing right here is the key thing - but it's worth the planning. The walk down the hill to the beach is pleasant enough, but the beach itself is a highlight - most people just headed for the caves, and then back up...More

Thank AissaW
Reviewed February 20, 2015

Busy spot with $5.00 fee on entry. Make sure you have cash as no other facilities are available for payment. Is only accessible 2 hours each side of low tide fortunately we struck it right. The walk to the caves is downhill but coming back...More

Thank Thegood1z
Reviewed January 27, 2015

Our third visit to the Cathedral Caves and not the last I hope. Peaceful 20 minute walk down through podocarp forest to a very pristine beach, which in itself is an attraction it it's own right. The caves are about 10 minutes from where the...More

Thank Cole M
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Questions & Answers
Hi there I am just replying to Judith K's review as she has a number of inaccuracies. The attendant is up at the car park 2 kms away from the gate that is locked. Obviously the time changes each day as it is a tidal attraction so opening and closing is controlled by the sea! And finally and most importantly the Caves are opened not for just 2 hours but actually for at least 4 hours. Its open 2 hours before low tide and 2 hours after, access dependent. If the seas are very high and their is a swell running they may delay opening for a 1/2 hour or so while it is being checked for safety but if the tide is low as it sometimes is due to full moon's influence then they can well be open 3 hours after low tide, oh and the hill you have to walk up thats steep, you actually have to walk down it first, so pretty sure you would know what you can expect while you are walking down it.
January 11, 2017|
Response from Judith K | Reviewed this property |
Thanks for that actually I said they can only be accessed close to low tide, so I was not implying it is at the whim of someone. When we went they only opened the gate between 8am and 10am. However the gate was going to be... More