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Allans Beach, Dunedin

Allans Beach, Dunedin

One of many wild, rugged and beautiful beaches on the Otago Peninsula, Allans Beach draws people in with its wildlife, scenic headlands and surf breaks. You can also get a great view of the beach from the Sandymount Recreation Reserve — combine the two for a fun day out in Dunedin.


Just before reaching Allans Beach you’ll see a viewing area by Hoopers Inlet. There should be some seals and/or sea lions playing nearby and they’re always fun to watch. Be careful when driving in this area as they sometimes cross the road!

Allans Beach

It’s a short walk from the car park to the beach and if you visit at the right time (just before sunset) you may be greeted by the squawking of yellow-eyed penguins. If not, you should still see some sea lions chilling out and playing in the sand.

READ MORE: Dunedin Itinerary: How to Spend Three – Seven Days in Dunedin

Allans Beach is a typically scenic Otago Peninsula beach. The ocean is generally rough in these parts, which is a good thing if you’re a surfer I guess. You can surf at a lot of Dunedin’s beaches — don’t ask me which ones are best though as I’m not much of a water person.

If you prefer your beach scenes a little more calm, walk around Hoopers Inlet for a while and you’ll find some nice shallow, still water. Walk around the rocks in the other direction for a different angle if the tide allows it.

READ MORE: 26 of the Best Beaches in Dunedin

Clear blue water at Allans Beach, Dunedin, New Zealand

Allans Beach from Above

If you’re a fan of coastal views you’ll love Dunedin. There are heaps of viewpoints to choose from, with the Sandymount Recreation Reserve the best for views of Allans Beach and Hoopers Inlet. The tracks are short and easy — it makes sense to do it before or after Allans Beach if you’re exploring the Otago Peninsula. There’s also Mount Charles but it requires permission which I’ve tried and failed to get multiple times.

Getting There

Allans Beach is located on the Otago Peninsula; around 30 minutes drive from central Dunedin. Drive along Portobello Road and turn down Allans Beach Road (located in the tiny township of Portobello). Veer left at the junction for the beach or turn right onto Hoopers Inlet Road for the Sandymount Recreation Reserve. You can also get there via Highcliff Road after visiting Sandymount / Sandfly Bay

Check out our list of the best things to do in Dunedin, and also our South Island road trip itinerary!

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Jon Algie

I'm a South Island local -- born in Timaru and raised in Dunedin. I left the island in 2006 and returned 10 years later. Having seen a good chunk of the world I realised how special this place is -- the most beautiful island in the world! Seven years (and almost 400 posts) later I'm still helping locals and tourists alike plan their trips around the South Island.