Aramoana Beach, Dunedin

Aramoana Beach is an awesome place to go for so many reasons. You can collect seashells, surf, watch wildlife, climb sand dunes, look at interesting rock formations or just walk along the beach (often in complete solitude). There are a couple of different sections of beach, broken up by the Aramoana Mole (a massive breakwater) where you’re likely to encounter sea lions and birds. The peninsular beaches draw most of the foreign tourists, but Aramoana is definitely worth adding to your Dunedin itinerary.

The Beach

The section of Aramoana Beach closest to the harbour seems like the perfect place to learn to surf. We’ve seen lots of kids and learner adults trying to ride the gentle waves. I’m not much of a water person but if for some reason I had to learn to surf this is the place I’d do it. You can walk right around this beach (the remains of wooden piers are a highlight) and around to the mudflats on the other side. If you’re lucky you might see an albatross (pretty sure that isn’t an albatross pictured below!).

Surfing at Aramoana Beach, Dunedin, New ZealandAn albatross on Aramoana Beach, Dunedin, New ZealandAramoana Beach and Otago Harbour, Dunedin, New Zealand

The other part of Aramoana Beach (AKA Big Beach) is a far wilder beast. Huge cliffs loom over the sand and there are some cool rock formations to be found. There are also some steep sand dunes to climb if you’re in need of a workout. If you’re into collecting sea shells this is one of the best beaches in Dunedin for it.

Rock formations at Aramoana Beach, Dunedin, New Zealand

The Mole

The Aramoana Mole buzzes with wildlife. We’ve seen heaps of sea lions sunbathing on the rocks and there are always plenty of birds hanging around. It’s worth walking to the end of the mole to see powerful waves crash onto the rocks.

Aramoana Mole, Dunedin, New ZealandMassive waves at Aramoana Mole, Dunedin, New Zealand

Aramoana Beach from above

The Heyward Point Track starts above Aramoana Beach and the view from up there is incredible. You can walk up from Aramoana but most people drive there. It’s one of the best coastal hikes in Dunedin – read more about it in the post below.

READ MORE: 30 Fun Things to Do in Dunedin

Aramoana Beach from the Heyward Point Track, Dunedin, New Zealand

Getting to Aramoana

Aramoana is around 25 km from central Dunedin. Head towards Port Chalmers and keep driving along the coastal road. Port Chalmers, with its historic buildings and hillside viewpoints, is a nice place to stop for lunch or a coffee. The bus only goes to Carey’s Bay so it’s not really an option. Hiring / buying a car is the best way to travel around New Zealand – you miss so much when relying on buses.

Exploring Dunedin? Check out our post about the best viewpoints in Dunedin (there are 30 of them!)

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who has just returned home after 6 years abroad. Join me as I see as much of the South Island as I can.
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