Sandfly Bay

Tramping / Hiking route near Dunedin in Otago, New Zealand

Name: Sandfly Bay
Discipline: Tramping / Hiking 
Duration: 0 day 1 hour 30 minutes
Photo Gallery: Sandfly Bay (Opens in a new window)
Route description:
Website: Sandfly Bay (Opens in a new window)

Starting point

Street: Seal Point Road
City/Town: Dunedin
Region: Otago


Directions to venue:

Craig de Beer wrote

The drive out to the southern shores of the Otago Peninsula is every kilometer worth it. The view over farmland and stonewalls, rolling green hills and the turquoise sea under the bluest of skies is breathtaking.

Our walk began from the car park on Seal Point Road, approximately 1.8km from Highcliff Road. Starting out at 104m, we took the footpath across farmland for the first 0.25km before reaching a platform overlooking Sandfly Bay. A sight not easily wiped from memory! It's important to read the information boards at the platform to know how to behave around sea lions and yellow-eyed penguins: don't linger on the beach below the hide or anywhere else the penguins come ashore and don't go to within 200m of them, and also stay 10m away from sleeping sea lions and at least 20m from active ones.

Eager to get to the beach for a better view of the wildlife, we set off down the dunes, descending 75m in just 0.3km. Not the easiest of walks, sliding through soft sea sand. Then again, the bay didn't get its name from the nasty little blood-sucking insects. But rather from the sand so fine it flies even in the lightest winds. As we reached the beach we encountered the first of many sea lions. We kept our distance as they lay sleeping and continued along the beach to the hide. We encountered about 10 or 12 more sea lions along the 1.1km stretch of beach. Quite amazing really: some magnificent creatures lying sleeping just meters away and offering up plenty of fantastic photo opportunities.

We stopped over in the hide for a snack and shelter from the sun before returning, and could only imagine what a glorious site it must be to see the penguins coming ashore at dusk.

On the return, realising that we needed to stay 20m from active sea lions, we kept as much room between them and us and walked up beside the dune. Our being there must have upset one sea lion that decided to charge and roar. It's quite a good thing sea lions swim at 20km/h, but don't reach anywhere near that on land. The walk back along the beach allowed for more photos.

The dune that leads back up to the car park then lay ahead. Ascending 75m in hourglass-like sand was quite something. There were times when I took four steps and didn't move an inch--with each step my feet just slid back down. Not long though and we were at the top, and headed back to the car park following the same footpath among sheep and lambs.

 Posted 7 years ago

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Sandfly Bay

New Zealand New Zealand
 Posted 8 years ago
 Updated 7 years ago
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 Comments: 1
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