Cape Palliser Road

Cape Palliser Road is one of NZ's best coastal drives

Located on the southern coast of New Zealand's North Island, Cape Palliser Road is dramatically scenic and one of the best coastal drives in the world. It’s remote, quiet, charming and unpredictable.

This mostly paved scenic ocean road offers unforgettable seaviews along the way. It’s 35.0 km long. This beautiful piece of coastline feels both rugged and remote. It’s truly a ridiculously scenic drive with steep cliffs on one side and an endless ocean with black-sand beaches on the other. The road is threatened by erosion below the cliffs at Whatarangi, so drive with caution. It includes several one lane bridges. 

The road ends in the Cape Palliser Lighthouse; the southernmost point of the NorthIsland. The last 7.2km of the road are gravel. This part of the road can get very muddy and slippery after rain making it challenging to get through. Around 250 steep, rickety steps lead to the 18-metre-high lighthouse at Cape Palliser. First lit in 1897, the lighthouse was staffed until 1986, when it was automated. It affords magnificent views of Palliser Bay and the South Island.


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