From Cape Campbell to Marfell's Beach

Image: Chris Louth | Creative Commons


This unmarked route follows the beach from the eastern end of the camping area to Cape Campbell, the southernmost extreme of Cook Strait.

Track overview

Walking and tramping

4 hours Expert: Route

Dog access

Dogs on a leash only

About this track


Allow half a day for this walk and be aware that high tides can block access around the foot of bluffs and the second half of the walk out to the lighthouse. This section should be done at low tide only. Please check tide timetables before you go.  Above the high tide line, land beyond the first headland is private land.

The striking Cape Campbell lighthouse is the second, built in 1903 to replace the original built in 1870.

Getting there

The turn-off to Marfells Beach is 36 km south of Blenheim via State Highway 1. The beach is a further 8 km down Marfells Road.

History and culture

This small coastal reserve has a long history as a public recreation area, starting in 1925 when the Marfell family exchanged land with the Crown for that purpose. The reserve has since been extended and the facility improved and is managed by DOC as a picnic and camping area.

Know before you go

  • Hot, dry conditions and strong, cold winds are both common in this area.  
  • Check the tides before undertaking the Marfells Beach/Cape Campbell walk.
  • High tides can block access around the foot of bluffs.
  • Access is via the beach only - above the high tide line is private land.
  • Marlborough has a dry climate and fire is a significant hazard to human safety, natural areas and agriculture. Open fires are not permitted at any of the East Coast reserves and only portable stoves should be used for cooking.
  • Take your rubbish away with you - no facilities are provided.
  • Purity of drinking water cannot be assured unless it has been boiled, filtered or treated.


Kaikoura i-SITE Visitor Information Centre
Phone:   +64 3 319 5641
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   West End
Kaikoura 7300
Postal Address:  
Wairau / Renwick Office
Phone:   +64 3 572 9100
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   Gee Street
Marlborough 7204
Postal Address:   PO Box 51
Marlborough 7243
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