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Hiking the Heyward Point Track, Dunedin

Hiking the Heyward Point Track, Dunedin

Dunedin’s beaches always look better from above, and some of the best elevated coastal views in (or just outside of) town are on the hike to Heyward Point. It’s an easy (ish) two hour hike through farmland and is fairly off the beaten path — it’s one of the best things to do in Dunedin when the sun is shining.

The Heyward Point Track

At the end of a narrow gravel road sits a gate and a little area of grass where you can park your car. From there it’s an easy 15 – 20 minute walk down a 4WD track to a viewpoint.

Turn right and you’ll end up in Aramoana, turn left and you’ll be heading to Heyward Point. The track to Aramoana heads steeply down the hill — if you’re at Aramoana Beach and are keen for a walk this would be a great option (pretty steep on the way up though).

The view from the junction, which looks out over Aramoana Beach and Mole (a long breakwater) as well as the tip of Otago Peninsula, is awesome. If you’re feeling lazy you could call it a day and head back to your car, warm in the knowledge that you’ve seen one of Dunedin’s best viewpoints. It is definitely worth continuing to Heyward Point though, so push on if you can.

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

Along the Coast and Through the Woods

From the turnoff the track winds around cliffs and climbs up and down forest tracks. It does get quite slippery on the Heyward Point Track so wear good shoes if you have them. I wore jandals the first time and it was manageable but definitely harder than it needed to be (I since learned my lesson and wore boots on subsequent visits). After a steep downhill section, which you obviously have to walk back up at some point, the track opens out onto Heyward Point.

Heyward Point

Keep walking towards the end of the path for more stunning views towards Aramoana. From the end of Heyward Point you can continue around to the other side for a great view over Kaikai Beach. The tracks through the farmland are quite rough and there are some sharp plants around but it’s easy enough.

It seems like there may be a track down to Kaikai Beach but we still need to investigate that further. 

READ MORE: 26 of the Best Beaches in Dunedin

Travel Tips

  • Getting There: Head to Port Chalmers and turn left when you see the sign pointing to Purakaunui / Long Beach. Turn right onto Blueskin Road, then onto Purakaunui Road and right again onto Heyward Point Road (it’s a gravel road but it’s in fairly good shape). If you’re into birds, check out the nearby Orokonui Ecosanctuary. Note that the track is closed for lambing between 29 August until 4 November.

  • Drive Carefully: The whole stretch of road between Port Chalmers and the start of the Heyward Point Track is narrow and winding and the road signs don’t give adequate warning about how tight the turns are. Drive slowly and pull over to let locals past.
  • Wear Better Shoes Than I Did: It gets muddy and the sharp leaves (possibly thistles, but I’m no botanist) can get annoying. The hike to Heyward Point is about 5km and takes about 2 hours return so you’d want some pretty reliable footwear considering the terrain.

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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.