Tumbledown Bay

Tumbledown Bay

Tumbledown bay is a secluded beach on the southern shores of Banks Peninsula. The bay has incredible cliffs along with a sandy beach, a place you can relax in the sun or go on an adventure. Only a one and a half hour drive away from Christchurch, Tumbledown Bay is ‘the’ beach to escape from the crowds.

In Detail

Getting There


From Christchurch, the turnoff to Tumbledown Bay is just as you arrive in Little River, up along a steep winding road and then back down to the southern shores of Banks Peninsula. As you arrive at Tumbledown Bay, there is a small grass carpark to the left. This is just off from Te Oka Bay Road, opposite the bay.  Pull in here and find yourself a park. It is only a short walk from the carpark down to the beach.

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Tumbledown Bay isn’t usually a surf beach but rather much calmer. The ocean floor gradually goes out and is sandy right the way out. This makes the bay an ideal spot for a swim and paddle. The water never feels too cold here on a warm summers day


From the car park you can walk or drive less than 100 meters up the road towards Te Oka Bay and you will reach a trail that leads out to the rocky outcrops of Tumbledown Bay. Walk along through a paddock and then through along a narrow path as you make your way out to the point.

Narrow paths with steep drops down to the sea and rough terrain giving a sense of adventure. You can walk right out to the furthermost rock and down until the cliffs touch the sea. From here you can get a clear view of a bird colony that populates this steep cliff.


A number of caves can be found in the surrounding area and are accessible by swimming or climbing around the edge of the bay to reach. They provide an awesome place to explore. Some alcoves require paddling in a kayak or using a paddleboard to reach.

Tumbledown Bay caters for everyone, it provides a place for all ages to explore. With the bay being so sheltered it’s ideal for paddleboarding, kayaking, swimming, sunbathing and exploring. Only an hour and a half from Christchurch it’s an easy getaway from town and makes for an ideal weekend destination.