Amazing Otago Harbour Views on the Soldiers Memorial Track, Dunedin
If you want to see some amazing views of Otago Harbour you’ll want to experience the drive along the narrow hilltop roads of the Otago peninsula. Highcliff Road has to be one of New Zealand’s most scenic city roads — from there you can see right down the peninsula, harbour and various small suburbs (as well as parts of central Dunedin). There are a few places to pull over and enjoy the views, with the Soldiers Memorial Track being one of the best.
Walking the Soldiers Memorial Track
It’s a 5 – 10 minute uphill walk to the Soldiers Memorial, built in 1923 to commemorate fallen WW1 soldiers. The views from the track are awesome, especially if you go in spring / summer and the yellow gorse (actually a weed) is out.
Once at the monument, which sits atop a massive rock, you’ll be able to look out over the harbour and the green hills surrounding it. It’s definitely one of Dunedin’s nicest viewpoints — there are so many though! I actually visited the Soldiers Memorial twice in one day, once at around midday and once in the late afternoon. The light in the afternoon (roughly three hours before sunset) was a lot better for photos.
Walking to Ocean Grove
Close to the top of the hill is a turnoff to another track, which takes you down to Ocean Grove, a seaside Dunedin suburb. From there you can visit Tomahawk Beach / Smails Beach, both of which feature nice hilltop viewpoints. You can also drive down there (turn onto Centre Road, which is the next street after the Soldiers Memorial Track) if you don’t feel like walking back up the hill.
Getting to the Soldiers Memorial Track
From the city, head towards the peninsula and up to Highcliff Road. Keep going until you see an area to park on the side of the road. There aren’t many places to park so it should be easy to spot. Rotary Park is another place to stop on the way for awesome harbour / city views. After the Soldiers Memorial Track you can continue on to Sandfly Bay, the Sandymount Track and various other peninsula sights.
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