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 at night during the long summer twilight hours. The Catlins Eco Tourism Park will allow an overnight stay to allow a visit to the Cathedral Caves in the Catlins either in the evening or early the next morning. The proximity to a large number of other attractions will make the wait for your Cathedral Caves in the Catlins visit, a pleasure and profitable use of your valuable vacation time. Below is a great pamphlet: Cartography by: Nicolas Barth (2012) NZ Speleological Society.