214 Pratt Road, Chaslands

Walk through bush and along the beach to explore the impressive Cathedral Caves, a highlight for visitors to The Catlins.

Located in cliffs at the northern end of pristine Waipati Beach, the caves have attracted international interest for both their length, the two sea-formed passages together measure just on 200 metres, and their impressive height, measuring up to 30 metres! Access to this outstanding natural feature is by a 1km walking track that descends through the lush podocarp and kamahi coastal forest of the Waipati Beach Scenic Reserve. Upon reaching the beach, it’s a 10 minute scenic stroll to the Caves.

This special spot can only be reached for an hour, either side of low tide. When the tide’s right you can walk from one cave to another - but be prepared for wet feet! Because of the tidal access, the Caves are only open between late October (although spring tides may delay the opening a few weeks) and May.

The Cathedral Caves Walk is across Maori freehold land and is managed by a trust of Kāi Tahu descent. There is a charge for the use of the car park and access to the bush track, beach and caves.

Department of Conservation
Last modified
Mon 6 Dec 2021
  • Activities
  • Natural Attraction
  • Outdoor Activities
  • Sightseeing
  • Family Friendly
  • Wildlife Spotting
  • Scenic Photo Point
  • Scenic Attraction
  • Self-Guided
  • Walking & Tramping
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