Find your best beach match
Fancy a beach holiday with a difference? Look no further than Dunedin. With some 30 stretches of beach within 30 minutes of the city centre, it pretty much out-beaches anywhere else in the South Island. But with all that choice, how do you decide? We’ve put together this handy go-to beach personality guide to find your perfect match.
The Deep Thinker - Tunnel Beach
The perfect place to ponder life and all it’s many curiosities, Tunnel Beach is not only a dramatic and visually stunning piece of Dunedin coastline, but also comes with an interesting back-story. This highly Instagrammable spot, with its huge sandstone archways, caves and hand-hewn tunnel, was once the private beach of local politician John Cargill, who commissioned the tunnel in 1870 so that his daughters could enjoy bathing in privacy. We don’t recommend swimming however, as the current can be strong.
The Romantic - Long Beach
The perfect hideaway for a romantic stroll, Long Beach checks all the boxes for a chilled-out date. The long sandy beach is the ideal backdrop for day-dreaming, picnicking and lounging around in the sunshine with a significant other. This hidden gem is tucked away just north of Dunedin. En-route, stock up on gourmet goodies at the Port Pantry in Port Chalmers and head up Blueskin Rd to see the spectacular scenery unfold before you.
The Mysterious and Elusive - Doctors Point
Now you see it, now you don’t. Skirting the cliffs around the azure waters of Blueskin Bay, Doctors Point Beach is arguably one of Dunedin’s unsung heroes. The majority if the beach is underwater at high tide, hence its elusive nature, so aim to visit at low tide when you can wander through impressive sea-arches all the way to the secretive sands of Canoe Beach. Afterward, take a clandestine swerve into Arc Brewing Co for a pick me up.
Cheeky and Fun – Brighton Beach
Get in touch with your inner child and enjoy a day of classic kiwi beach nostalgia at Brighton Beach. Potter around in the water, paddle in the adjoining stream and explore the small rocky island just off-shore which is easily reached at low tide. Beach games and ice-creams complete the picture, or you can hire a row boat at the local campsite and venture up the creek.
Flashy and Frivolous - St Clair Beach
A place to see and be seen, or just scope out the surfers as they ride the point break, it’s a quick 10-minute drive from the city centre. Arguably Dunedin’s most popular seaside spot, St Clair Beach and the Esplanade above it channel a faintly European vibe with beachside bistros and al fresco dining. The nearby St Clair Hot Salt Water Pool is another excellent spot for basking in the sunshine or a warm swim. https://www.instagram.com/p/B5E0TyTJzR-/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
The Adventurous Type – Smails Beach
Surfing, rockpools, hikes and more. Smails Beach is a mecca for sporty sorts who want to hit the waves or take on the spectacular Karetai Track with its epic cliff top views. There are sand dunes to explore and a cave to discover, although only at low tide. If you are lucky enough to spot any wildlife here, please do keep your distance.
For more beaches to enjoy this summer see https://www.dunedinnz.com/visit/see-and-do/beaches