Skip to Content

5 of the Best Things to Do in Kakanui

5 of the Best Things to Do in Kakanui

The main road north of Dunedin bypasses Kakanui, but those willing to take the (very short) detour are greeted by a cute seaside village with some great beaches. Here are the best things to do in Kakanui, including beach hangouts, shell hunting and more!

Campbell’s Bay / All Day Bay

Campbell’s Bay is the place to go if you’re looking for some surf and sand in Kakanui. It’s a popular weekend beach spot for people living in Oamaru and Dunedin, attracting a lot of families because of the surfing and swimming conditions (and the world-class beach!).

You’ll get some great views from the cliffs near the car park.  There are some places to sit and relax up there too. At beach level you’ll struggle to find shade at Campbell’s Bay — bring an umbrella if you’ve got one!

All Day Bay is the section of beach towards the south (it’s one long stretch of beach). It gets a little wilder and less busy as you head south before eventually reaching Bridge Point (more on that below).

READ MORE: Where Are the Best Beaches in Oamaru?

Kakanui Beach / River

Kakanui Beach is on the north side of the river and is quite a different scene to nearby Campbell’s Bay. It’s more of a windswept, rough kind of beach — good for a wander and some seashell hunting.  The Kakanui Esplanade features a playground for the kids as well as a shelter down by the river covered in graffiti. It looks like somewhere wayward youths would hang out, although there probably aren’t many of them in Kakanui! You can also get down to the Kakanui River from there and do some fishing.

Bridge Point / Te Hakapureirei Beach

All Day Bay stretches south for a few kilometres, and right at the end you’ll find Bridge Point, a headland with some awesome views in both directions. If you’re driving south towards Dunedin from there you’ll soon end up back on State Highway 1, a short drive from Moeraki.

The Scenic Drive to Oamaru

The main road between Dunedin and Oamaru bypasses Kakanui and the coastline just south of Oamaru. If you have the time it’s a good idea to take the coastal road between Kakanui and Oamaru instead.  There are some great views from near the road, especially around 14s Beach.  The whole drive from Dunedin to Oamaru is stunning  — check out my post about it to see the best places to stop.

READ MORE: 13 of the Best Things to Do in Oamaru

Kakanui (the Town)

Kakanui is a typical Kiwi bach town. Baches, or cribs (holiday houses) are found throughout town and some are available to rent. There’s a café and a dairy that also does takeaways and sells alcohol. Aside from that there’s not much in the way of tourist infrastructure in Kakanui – Oamaru is only a 15-minute drive away though. If you’re driving from Dunedin it should take around 75 minutes to drive to Kakanui. We also walked around town for a bit and decided to check out the “walking track” — it didn’t go anywhere interesting.

Are you planning a trip to Kakanui? Let us know in the comments below!

The following two tabs change content below.

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.