Grand imposing caves which resonate with the sound of the sea. A beautiful walk through bush and along a scenic unspoiled beach is all part of this experience.
The Cathedral Caves were so named by Dr T.M. Hocken in 1896 because of their resemblance to European cathedrals. The Cathedral Caves soar to more than 30 metres overhead. Try the acoustics with a simple whistle or even a song! Dr Hocken and his friends did and termed them ‘reverberating.’
It is recommended to plan your visit to the caves. The caves can only be accessed when conditions are safe. Check the Cathedral Caves website in advance of your visit for opening times and check again the day before you arrive as times can change if conditions change. The caves are usually closed from June to the end of October and can also be closed at short notice at other times (for tide information check the tide charts or enquire at Visitor Information Centres in The Catlins). There is an entrance fee (card payment only) as the access road is on private land.
The walk from the car park takes you through kamahi/podocarp forest. It is downhill on the way to the beach. After you come out of the forest it is a short walk along Waipati Beach to the Cathedral Caves entrance.
Walk from car park to caves – 1 hour return.