Jack's Blowhole

Holiday Travel Guide
Owaka showing surf, rugged coastline and a bay or harbour

See the powerful natural feature named after a Māori chief by following a short trail on a private sheep farm.

Jack’s Blowhole, named after a 19th-century Māori chief with a big mouth, is a natural phenomena that has mesmerized and intrigued onlookers for centuries. Set out on a pleasant walk to see this hidden gem in the Tunnel Rocks Scenic Reserve. Even this far inland, the South Pacific lets its presence be known.

The blowhole was named after Hone Tūhawaiki, a Māori chief. The Ngâi Tahu leader was nicknamed Bloody Jack by New Zealand’s early European settlers. In 1844, Tūhawaiki’s boat hit some rocks in the South Pacific Ocean, taking the great South Island chief with it.

From Jack’s Bay, follow the markings for the Jack’s Blowhole Track. The serenity of the surrounding lush farmlands with its grazing sheep and waving flax stands in stark contrast to the power of the ocean you are just about to witness. If the conditions are right, watch the water come out of the blowhole 180 feet (55 meters) below the lookout point.

Jack’s Blowhole is some 472 feet (144 meters) long and 223 feet (68 meters) wide. The tunnel was formed when the roof of a subterranean karst cave collapsed after millions of year of erosion. The resulting channel allows the ocean waves to travel 656 feet (200 meters) inland and spurt out in the narrow gorge.

Come here when the seas are rough or during high tide to see the best action. Hear the roars and wait for the foaming water to crash into the cliffs. On calmer days it is less spectacular, but still worthwhile to watch.

Find Jack’s Blowhole in the southeastern corner of New Zealand’s South Island. The blowhole is about 6 miles (10 kilometers) southeast of Owaka and is signposted from the Southern Scenic Route. Simply park your car at Jack’s Bay and follow the signs. There are toilet facilities at the start of the trail.

Note that the track and the blow hole are located on a private farm and are closed during lambing season, from September to November. Entry is free but visitors are asked to respect the farmer’s privacy and property and stay on the track. You have to climb over fence stiles along the way. Allow about 1 hour for the return trip.

53 Cheap Hotels Near Jack's Blowhole

Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park
Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park
2 out of 5
324 Newhaven Rd, Surat Bay, The Catlins, New Haven, Otago
The price is NZ$94 per night from 2 Dec. to 2 Dec.
Nestled on the beach, this New Haven campsite is within 9 mi (15 km) of Teapot World, Catlins Lake and Jack's Blowhole. Cannibal Bay Beach is 10.2 mi (16.4 km) ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (62 reviews)
"Reception is very friendly and informative."

Reviewed on 16 May 2021

Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park
Surat Bay Lodge & Backpackers Hostel
Surat Bay Lodge & Backpackers Hostel
2 out of 5
19 Surat Bay Road, New Haven, South Otago
Nestled on the beach, this New Haven hostel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Teapot World, Catlins Lake and Jack's Blowhole. Cannibal Bay Beach is 10.2 mi (16.4 km) ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (26 reviews)
Friendly and homely hospitality right on the beach
"We enjoyed another lovely stay at Surat Bay Lodge with Esther & Jack, who warmly welcomed us and our children back. Our boys loved helping to feed the chickens again, trying their hands at fishing and eating some of what Dad had caught fresh off the on-site BBQ. And I got to see a big sea lion bull ..."

Reviewed on 1 May 2021

Surat Bay Lodge & Backpackers Hostel
Pounawea Waterfront Motels
Pounawea Waterfront Motels
3.5 out of 5
43 Park Lane, Pounawea, Owaka
The price is NZ$150 per night from 15 Dec. to 15 Dec.
Situated on the riverfront, this apartment building is within 9 miles (15 km) of Teapot World, Catlins Lake and Jack's Blowhole. Cannibal Bay Beach and Kaka ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (19 reviews)
"Awesome view, great location and well set up motel unit"

Reviewed on 12 Jul. 2021

Pounawea Waterfront Motels
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Jack's Blowhole

Jack's Blowhole

Choose two or more items and save on your trip:

Top Jack's Blowhole Hotel & Accommodation Deals

Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park
Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park
2 out of 5
324 Newhaven Rd, Surat Bay, The Catlins, New Haven, Otago
The price is NZ$94 per night from 2 Dec. to 2 Dec.
Catlins Newhaven Holiday Park
Surat Bay Lodge & Backpackers Hostel
Surat Bay Lodge & Backpackers Hostel
2 out of 5
19 Surat Bay Road, New Haven, South Otago
Surat Bay Lodge & Backpackers Hostel
Pounawea Waterfront Motels
Pounawea Waterfront Motels
3.5 out of 5
43 Park Lane, Pounawea, Owaka
The price is NZ$150 per night from 15 Dec. to 15 Dec.
Pounawea Waterfront Motels
Kepplestone by the Sea
Kepplestone by the Sea
3.5 out of 5
9 Surat Bay Rd, New Haven, OTA
Kepplestone by the Sea
Pounawea Waterfront House
Pounawea Waterfront House
3 out of 5
43 Park Lane, Pounawea, Owaka
Pounawea Waterfront House
Kowhai Flat
Kowhai Flat
3.5 out of 5
350 Pounawea Road, Owaka
The price is NZ$200 per night from 16 Dec. to 16 Dec.
Kowhai Flat
Koru Flat
Koru Flat
3 out of 5
350 Pounawea Road, Owaka
The price is NZ$120 per night from 12 Dec. to 12 Dec.
Koru Flat
Kowhai Flat, Pounawea
Kowhai Flat, Pounawea
350 Pounawea Road, Owaka, Otago
The price is NZ$232 per night from 16 Dec. to 16 Dec.
Kowhai Flat, Pounawea
Lakeside Cottage
Lakeside Cottage
87 Lakeside Rd, Hinahina, Otago
Lakeside Cottage
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.