Hiking to Victory Beach and the Pyramids, Dunedin
This two hour hike takes you to one of Dunedin’s most remote beaches as well as a couple of cone-shaped limestone hills known as the Pyramids. It’s also a good idea to drive up the hill in front of Papanui Inlet and Victory Beach for one of the best coastal views in Dunedin.
The hike to Victory Beach and the Pyramids starts off with long, straight (and kind of boring) section of track. You can see the Pyramids at the end of it though, and eventually you’ll reach the base of the smaller one. A narrow path veers right and then up the small pyramid — from the top you’ll get stunning views of Okia Flat / Reserve (the Pyramids are located) and Victory Beach. You can also get some good views of the Pyramids when continuing the hike to the beach.
There’s a loop track which eventually takes you to Victory Beach. It gets overgrown in parts but it’d be tough to get lost. There’s also a track that goes straight to the beach from close to the Pyramids. It’s worth doing the loop track if you have time — I did the whole thing in less than two hours.
The track eventually leads to Victory Beach, one of the longest and most remote of Dunedin’s many beaches. It’s also one of the nicest — the sand was soft and white and there were no rough sections of seaweed or driftwood. It reminded me a lot of St. Clair Beach only a lot more secluded. I saw a few sea lions relaxing in the sun but wasn’t there late enough to spot yellow eyed penguins — you’ll want to visit just before sunset to maximize your chances of seeing one.
Victory Beach and Papanui Inlet from Above
The highlight of my visit to this part of the Otago Peninsula was seeing it from above. You’ll have to drive around Papanui Inlet and then up towards Cape Saunders. Turn onto McKay Road and keep driving until the views open up. It’s a pretty amazing place if the weather is good. I’ve been there a couple of times and the light was far better for photos in the afternoon. There isn’t a proper viewpoint above Victory Beach so you’ll have to pull over when you see some space on the side of the road. I parked close to the entrance to McKay Road and walked 5 – 10 minutes up the hill from there. It’s also good to stop further down the road for slightly less elevated views of Papanui Inlet.
Getting to Victory Beach and the Pyramids
It takes around 30 minutes to reach the Victory Beach car park. Drive through Portobello and turn right onto Weir Road. From the end of that road turn left (you’ll see a sign). Turn right to reach the road above Papanui Inlet for great views. You can also approach it from Highcliff Road / Sandymount Road, which makes sense if you’re also visiting Sandfly Bay and the Sandymount Track.
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