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Outdoors

Surf in cold water Bali, Dunedin where the waves reign

  • 3 minutes

Where to go and nearby surf beaches

Tumultuous Southern Ocean roars its way into Dunedin’s surfing culture with swells from the south west to the north east. The best time to surf in Dunedin is the winter months with regular 4 – 6 metres breaks. Read more to find out where to go and Dunedin’s hot spots for surfing.

There are over 30 beaches within 30 minutes drive of the central city landmark, The Octagon.

TIP

Check out Surf Forecast & Surf Reports for NEW ZEALAND for what’s happening at the local Dunedin for up to date information. Similar to Bali there are two coasts to pick your beach for the day with the north or south offering differing opportunities.

The popular surf beach and Esplanade at St Clair in the south of the Dunedin capital city of Otago South Island New Zealand
The popular surf beach and Esplanade at St Clair

WHERE IS THE ACTION  – DUNEDIN SURF HOTSPOTS?

Undoubtedly the top spot for action, a foodie scene and surfing heritage is ST CLAIR. St Clair personifies hashtag #surfdunedin. The beach is where to be seen with well known cafes and restaurants lining the promenade.

Check out St Clair Beach Surf Cam compliments of Hydro Surf Shop, St Clair.

ST KILDA SURF BEACH

Nearby St Clair is the popular surf spot of St Kilda.

St Kilda beach, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand @HappyYappyZipper
St Kilda beach @HappyYappyZipper
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Experienced surfers explore Whareakeake (Murdering Beach) with world class surfing when the swells are rolling during the winter months. Tropical cyclones hitting the north coast surf beaches of Aramoana, Whareakeake and Karitane ramp up the challenge.

Whareakeake beach location

No shops, no camping grounds, beautiful remote beach with beautiful rock formations framing the sandy beach.

KARITANE BEACH

Karitane is a Dunedin local favourite summer holiday spot near the mouth of the Waikouaiti River. There is a consistent swell, white sand and clear waters. Karitane is not for the inexperienced surfer with its ocean swells. The beach is overlooked by the rugged charm of the Huriawa Peninsula.

@MaoriToursKaritane
@MaoriToursKaritane

WHAT IS THERE TO DO NEARBY KARITANE BEACH, OTAGO?

  • Karitane Maori Tours offer immersive kayaking and Maori cultural experiences for visitors. Today, Karitane is a popular local retreat for summer bachs (accommodation known as cribs).
  • A walk along the beach and the walkways of the Huriawa Peninsula will often provide encounters with fur seals or sea lions, as well as the wide range of sea birds
  • Fishing charters.

Check out What’s so great about Karitane & Waikouaiti.

WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO DO ON THE OTAGO, DUNEDIN SURFING BEACHES?

Dunedin’s surfing beaches are the habitat for penguins, sea lions and sharks cruise the water. A smorgasbord of surfing breaks and local wildlife adds a unique charm to surfing in Dunedin or the Otago Peninsula.

Aramoana Spit and Reserve  is an outdoors highlight. Pack the surfboard, lace up the hiking boots and explore the outdoors.

Tow Yellow Eyed Penguins, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
Tow Yellow Eyed Penguins
Florence Hill Lookout at The Catlins, South Island, New Zealand
Florence Hill Lookout at The Catlins

Surfing neighbour The Catlins

The Catlins area is also known for excellent surfing opportunities. The Catlins offer surfers a chance to explore remote beaches known for their wildlife and an underrated part of New Zealand. Check out The Catlins travel guide, things to do & see, activities: Best Bits for details.

Dunedin and Otago surfing beaches are part of the outdoors experience offered in Otago. Check out the Dunedin Travel Guide for more inspiration about what to do while on holiday in New Zealand. For beach buffs remember to click on Dunedin beaches and pack the sun screen.

BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE

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