Aramoana Beach, Dunedin
Why visit Aramoana Beach?
Aramoana Beach is an awesome place to go for so many reasons. You can collect seashells, surf, watch wildlife, climb sand dunes, look at crazy 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 section of Aramoana Beach closest to the harbour (sometimes referred to as Shelly Beach) 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.
The other part of Aramoana Beach (AKA Big Beach) is a far wilder beast. Huge cliffs loom over the sand and there are some interesting rock formations to be found. There are also some steep sand dunes to climb if you’re in need of a workout. It’s a really cool bit of beach and it gets quite popular in the weekends (if the weather is good). If you’re into collecting sea shells this is one of the best beaches in Dunedin for it.
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 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: Hiking to Heyward Point, Dunedin
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.
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