It’s funny that Dunedin, New Zealand shares it’s namesake with another city on the other side of the world, Dunedin, Florida. Dunedin Florida has quite a few similarities with ‘our’ Dunedin, including the name itself derived from the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh. Both cities enjoy a rich Scottish heritage, beautiful parks, a vibrant city and educational opportunities, but I bet you didn’t think that beaches would be one of them? That’s right, today’s blog is all about Dunedin NZ’s beaches, what they’re like, where they are and we don’t mean to boast, but………they are many and varied and just down right awesome.
The big picture
We’ve used this aerial shot of Dunedin before, but let’s face it, it is absolutely amazing, so why not use it again? Also, it shows you just how close Dunedin is to the coastline and an array of beaches. You can’t see all of the coast line in this shot, but it gives you a pretty good indication. In Dunedin, all of our beaches are within approximately a 30 minute drive of the Central City, some as close as 10 minutes away, and that’s where we’ll start with the closest and possibly most popular local beach.
St Clair Beach
St Clair Beach and Hot Salt Water Pool is literally on the doorstep for many Dunedin residents, and only a 10 minute bus or car ride from the Otago University campus. Not only is this beach blessed with beautiful soft, white sand, the mighty Pacific Ocean that stretches its long legs out from the beach offers surfing opportunities for both beginners and those that love to wet their feet on a regular basis. If you’re coming to Dunedin and you’ve never surfed before, get some surfing lessons from the locals and see what all the fuss is about. Or if you prefer a slower pace, take a stroll along the beach and end your walk at one of the many cafes, restaurants and bars that line our most popular of beaches.
Aramoana translates from Maori to English as ‘sea pathway’ and this beach at the mouth of the Otago harbour was probably one of the very first beaches that the European settlers to Otago would have viewed. Aramoana beach is situated next to a quiet little township that has an array of permanent homes and kiwi baches. It, like St Clair is a surfing destination, but it also attracts (as most of Dunedin’s beaches do) a range of wildlife that comes ashore and on that note it’s really important that you don’t go near any wildlife you see. Follow these guidelines on how to behave around our precious and often rare and endangered wildlife taonga – keep your distance, don’t engage, keep your dog (and children) under control and keep noise to a minimum.
20km’s South West of Dunedin you’ll find a delightful little seaside town called Brighton. Again, this beach is popular for surfers and the community around the beach very much embrace a relaxed and easy going lifestyle.
You can hire a boat from the Brighton motorcamp to paddle up and down the stream, at low tide Barney’s Island (at the South end of the beach) is a wonderful place to explore, and you’ll often find families with small children making the most of these peaceful waters.
Surf lifesaving patrols are on duty during the busy summer months and rumour has it that there is a fairly impressive little cafe out there to add to your enjoyment.
Tunnel Beach is named because of the fact that a man-made tunnel has been carved through the rock in the 1870’s which leads to a sheltered and private beach. There are many rumours and local legends as to why John Cargill carved this remarkable walkway, including the drowning of one or more of his daughters, or the fact that he wanted to provide his daughters’ with a secluded place in order to be far from the prying eyes that Victorian settlers so avoided. Either way, it is spectacular.
So this is just a taste, a mere sampling of the many and varied beaches that Dunedin has to offer, and whilst we aren’t inclined to boast we thought we would share this little clip filmed by Lloyds Bank as a finale! Tomahawk Beach, and all our Dunedin beaches, look how beautiful you are!
NB: We would like to make special mention to DunedinNZ.com for their imagery and comprehensive list and information on Dunedin beaches!
Nicky Richardson is an International Marketing Coordinator at the University of Otago. With degrees in music and marketing, she is a recent graduate of Otago herself – she loves Otago so much she ended up getting a job here!