"Golden Sands South of Dunedin" Top 5 Page for this destination Dunedin Off The Beaten Path Tip by Kakapo2
Dunedin Off The Beaten Path: 44 reviews and 66 photos
It was no surprise how nice the beaches south of Dunedin are. The surprise was that many of them, between Brighton and the Taieri Mouth, were kind of golden like the sands of the beaches of the Abel Tasman National Park.
The round-trip from Dunedin leads over SH1 to Lake Waihola which is well-loved for yachting, power-boating, rowing and water-skiing. In an old travel guide I read that at the turn of the century - from the 19th to the 20th - there were even paddle-steamers "for the convenience of ailing or convalescent tourists"! Now there are a carpark, campground, toilets and showers at the lake which is linked to Lake Waipori further north by a tidal river.
If you turn left in Waihola township the rather wide gravel road takes you over rolling hills to the Taieri Mouth. There are camping facilities, so you can spend some days there or just a day or some hours for swimming - the beach is sheltered by a parallel running reef -, fishing, walking or mountainbiking in the coastal forests. Taieri Island, formerly Moturata (= rata island), in the river mouth can be reached on foot at low tide. A four-hour (return) walk leads along the river. There are also shorter walks indicated, and wildlife (pengins, albatrosses and native birds) can be watched if you are there at the right time.
Along the coast to the north is another rock, called Governor's Rock. It is said that Sir George Grey once lit a fire there. The beaches are rather narrow towards the north, and sometimes it is difficult to stop but there are always some little carparks along the road. This is the stretch where the beaches have this golden colour.
The next seaside centre is Brighton. This little town became a weekend destination in the early days of the motorcars, because it was as far as the people of Dunedin could get on a day trip.
From Brighton the way to Dunedin is indicated.
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