Jacks Blowhole

Jack's Blowhole

Useful Information

Location: Tunnel Rocks Scenic Reserve. From the Southern Scenic Route, follow the signs to Jacks Bay and the carpark. 1 hour walk. (46° 30′ 20″ S, 169° 41′ 55″ E)
Open: no restrictions.
SEP to OCT closed for lambing.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave SpeleologyBlowhole
Light: n/a
Dimension: L=200 m, VR=55 m.
Guided tours:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Jack's Blowhole is actually a cave which runs from the Catlins coast inlad for about 200 m. It is filled with sea water and can not be entered. At high tides and during storms the water rushes into the narrowing cave and is forced out at the other end through an collapse of the ceiling. However, unlike other blowholes there is no fountain of sea water springing up, but there are roaring sound effects from both the water and the air expelling from the tunnel.

The doline is reached on a trail starting at Jack's Bay in a 30 minutes walk. It is 144 metre long and 68 metre wide with steep walls. Here is a wooden viewing platform which allows visitor to have a look into the cave. Jack's Bay, Jack's Island and Jack's Blowhole are named after the famous Ngai Tahu Maori chief Hone (Jack) Tuhawaiki. He lived in the south during the first part of the 19th century. His nickname was Bloody Jack because of his rough language.