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Tunnel Beach

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Singapore, Singapore
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Tunnel Beach

Hi,

I am planning to go tunnel beach in Apr but I do not drive.

How can I get there on public transport?

Are there activities (like boat tour) that I can do near the beach area as I plan to spend a day hanging around the area?

Thanks!

Ying Qin

Auckland, New...
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1,985 posts
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1. Re: Tunnel Beach

Hello,

No activities in and around tunnel beach - best bet is to get a cab - perhaps $35 each way.

Dunedin, New Zealand
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672 posts
148 reviews
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2. Re: Tunnel Beach

Assuming you are staying close to the Octagon (the center of the city), board the 34 bus marked "St. Clair Park/Corstorphine" across the street from the I-Site office. Make sure it says "St. Clair Park" and not just "St. Clair" because the St. Clair bus goes to a different place--it goes to St. Clair Beach!

The 34 bus leaves the Octagon at 8:55 am, 9:55 am, 10:55 am, 12:05 pm, 1:05 am weekdays. Not sure about Saturdays and not sure if it runs at all on Sundays.

So check with the driver first to make sure he stops at Mulford and Middleton Roads (the closest stop to Tunnel Beach). And before you get off, ask the driver where you must stand to catch the bus back to the Octagon and at what time it will pass. You don't want to miss the bus because it only comes on the hour.

Anyhow, to get to Tunnel Beach from Mulford and Middleton Road, continue walking down Middleton Road about 10-12 minutes until you get to Tunnel Beach Road. From here it will only be a few minutes to the start of the track. The bus fare will cost no more than $4.70 (one way), maybe less. If you are going to be catching a lot of buses, you might want to get a GO card for $5 because it will give you a 10 percent discount on the buses. But it's only practical if you are going to be using it a lot.

…govt.nz/Information-and-Services/…

…govt.nz/Documents/Content/Information%20Ser…

…govt.nz/Information-and-Services/…

I don't know if the bus runs on Sundays. It may not. Also, Tunnel Beach is best on a sunny day, so if it's rainy and miserable, you might want to skip it as it will take up a lot of your time to get there. I was there yesterday and it was perfect.

Dunedin, New Zealand
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672 posts
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3. Re: Tunnel Beach

I occasionally catch the 34 St. Clair Park bus and sometimes tourists get off at Mulford and Middleton Roads going to Tunnel Beach. While I usually drive to Tunnel Beach, I have walked there. You have to walk on the side of the road past a few fields with horses and sheep, but there isn't a lot of traffic here. The most annoying thing was a barking dog on Tunnel Beach Road itself.

Dunedin, New Zealand
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672 posts
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4. Re: Tunnel Beach

Correction: I meant to write "the bus to the stop closest to Tunnel Beach leaves about every hour on weekdays and maybe Saturdays."

When you get to Dunedin, stop in at the I-Site (New Zealand tourism office) a few steps from the Octagon. They should be able to give you a bus schedule and advice on where you can get to by bus as well as other suggestions for activities. They often have special prices for local tours, which can be cheaper than if you book directly with the operators (but not always).

https://www.dunedin.govt.nz/isite

If you will be staying close to the Octagon, you can easily walk to the Railway Station, the City Art Gallery, Toitu Settlers Museum, the Otago Museum, and Speight's Brewery. It would be just a short bus ride to Baldwin Street (the steepest street), Dunedin's beautiful botanical garden and aviary, and St. Clair Beach. If you need more bus info. just ask.

If you want to go out on a boat, I highly recommend an afternoon half day tour with Monarch Cruises. They will pick you up from downtown Dunedin take you for a drive out to the Otago Peninsula via the very scenic Highcliff Road (the high road) before taking you to their boat docked at the Otago Peninsula's Weller's Rock Wharf. They cruise around for an hour or more around the tip of the Otago Peninsula looking for wildlife before cruising back up the entire harbor to the wharf in downtown Dunedin.

http://www.wildlife.co.nz/HalfDayTours

The cruise is especially fantastic on a sunny day when the harbor and ocean are calm. Yesterday, they saw a humpback whale feeding off the Otago Peninsula's Taiaroa Head, which is unusual! I went on the Monarch Cruise about a month ago. We saw many fur seals (including pups) on the rocks, three species of albatrosses, and other many other birds (petrels, shags, seagulls, etc.), lots of krill in the water, but the cruise before ours saw a huge school of Dusky Dolphins. (www.wildlife.co.nz/ShipsBlog/dolphins-galore/)

Too bad they didn't stick around until so that we could see them, too. It was a beautiful calm day so we were able to cruise out beyond Taiaroa Head. I have been on the Monarch Cruise during rougher seas when we couldn't go as far out, when we had to stay within the harbor. If you are prone to seasickness, you might want to take a pill before you go on the cruise.

The half day afternoon Monarch Cruise also offers the option of visiting Penguin Place, which might give you a chance to see Yellow Eyed Penguins. But the penguins are wild animals that are free to come and go so there are no guarantees.

Another terrific option for you would be a Elm Wildlife Tour that includes a Monarch Cruise. I think you will be sure to see lots of wildlife if you go out on one of their afternoon tours, as the Yellow Eyed Penguins come in during the late afternoon and the Blue Penguins come in as it gets dark.

elmwildlifetours.co.nz/our-tours/peninsula-e…

I've never done the Elm Wildlife Tour but it gets great reviews. I'm thinking of going out with them this weekend, if I do, I'll let you know how it goes.

Singapore, Singapore
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5. Re: Tunnel Beach

Thank You for sharing your comprehensive appreciation of the place !! I will love to visit all the recommended places in Apr. I have booked the ELM half day standard tour (without cruise) and it is more expensive than the Monarch half day tour (with cruise). I will try to cancel the former before rebooking the latter. =D

Dunedin, New Zealand
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672 posts
148 reviews
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6. Re: Tunnel Beach

I just took the Elm Wildlife Tour for the first time yesterday. For the half-day tour you shouldn't have to pay more than $95. I paid a little more because I wanted to see the albatross chicks at the Royal Albatross Centre, but I would say this is not worth it because the rest of my group saw juvenile albatrosses flying just a few metres overhead. I haven't yet had time to write a review because I haven't had a chance to look at my photos, but I am going to try and give you detail about my trip so you can make an informed choice.

First off, I would have to say, you will not be disappointed if you take a tour with Elm. The Monarch Cruise is also wonderful, but if the sea is rough, you won't have as good a time. Also, you'll be seeing seabirds, including rare Northern Royal Albatrosses and rare Stewart Island Shags, and NZ Fur Seals (who like to bask about on the rocks) from the water--so it will be harder to take photos. But on a sunny calm day, the boat trip is lovely.

The Elm tour started out a 3:15 p.m. with a drive out to the peninsula via Centre Road and then Highcliff Road, which is the scenic high road on the peninsula (about 300 metres high). On a clear day such as yesterday, the views are great: with the harbor to the left, the ocean and distant beaches to the right. Unfortunately, the driver did not stop for photos, but I think this is because we still had two more people to pick up in Portobello, a small village on the peninsula.

After we picked up the two passengers, the tour continued along unpaved roads to Hoopers Inlet, where common wading birds, like white faced grey herons, paradise shelducks, black and pied oyster catchers, pied stilts, pukeko (purple swamphen), black swans, spur-winged plovers, mallard and teal ducks were spotted. There was also a group of Royal Spoonbills, but they probably won't be around by the time you get here because they only stay for summer and it's getting cooler now. We also saw a little owl on a tree and many Australasian Harriers soaring through the air.

The next stop was Taiaroa Head, the beautiful tip of the Otago Peninisula. This is where the Royal Albatross Centre is located. I went in to look at the albatross chicks that were born about 7 weeks ago, while the rest of my group stayed near the cliffs outside to look at the soaring juvenile Northern Royal Albatrosses. Many rare Stewart Island shags can also be seen here. Taiaroa Head is a dramatically beautiful spot, but extremely windy! It is often cloaked in fog, but not yesterday.

After Taiaroa Head, we drove to Elm's private conservation area, where we spent around two hours, until dusk. The first part consisted of a walk down to the beach where we saw nine Yellow Eyed Penguins (including three that had swum onto shore). Some of the penguins were moulting and were standing around on the grass, or in the bushes above the beach. We also saw eight or nine endangered NZ Hookers Sea Lions on the same beach, including a group of four rambunctious males, who were biting each other, rolling around with one another, etc. It made for great photos (if you have a little tripod or monopod, bring it, as it makes your photos sharper, especially as the sun is going down and light gets scarce). The sea lions are magnificent, larger than the fur seals. The big males can weigh around 400 kilos!

After about 45 minutes at the beach, we walked to a rocky area where we watched an enormous fur seal colony. There were more than 200 pups in the colony and almost as many adults. The pups were charming, playing with each other in the rock pools, dragging long strands of seaweed. It was beautiful. I've seen a lot of fur seal colonies in New Zealand and this was among the best (comparable to Ohau Point north of Kaikoura).

Unfortunately, we did not see the more common Little Blue Penguins, as they come in later in the evening.

After this, the tour was over and we were driven back to our respective accommodations.

In closing, I think you will be pleased with Elm as you will see the three endangered species that the Otago Peninsula is famous for: the Yellow Eyed Penguin, the Northern Royal Albatross and the New Zealand Hookers Sea Lion. You will also see protected New Zealand Fur Seals and rare Stewart Island Shags. Plus, if the weather is fine, you will see some beautiful scenery on the drive. Please do not be disappointed if you do not see as many animals as I saw, every trip is different.

Here are some wildlife links for you:

…govt.nz/conservation/…

…govt.nz/conservation/…

…govt.nz/conservation/…

…govt.nz/conservation/…

nzbirdsonline.org.nz/species/stewart-island-…

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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7. Re: Tunnel Beach

I agree that you definitely get value for money with the Elm tour. I did the one that includes the albatross colony, but we stayed to watch the Little Blue Penguins come in & didn't get back to the Octagon until about 10:30 pm.

8. Re: Tunnel Beach

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