Sandfly Bay Track

Sandfly Bay Track, Dunedin: Address, Phone Number, Sandfly Bay Track Reviews: 5/5

Sandfly Bay Track
5
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1-2 hours
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5.0
61 reviews
Excellent
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10
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Naina-Damani
London, UK1,032 contributions
MAGNIFICENT SCENIC VIEWS.
Feb 2020
We were driven around Sandfly Bay with magnificent views and we stopped at the viewpoint for wonderful experience.
Written 10 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Eelkins
Devonport, New Zealand137 contributions
One of the best parts of the trip to Dunedin!
Jan 2021 • Family
Very unexpectedly cool location. Saw several sea lions at either end of the beach. One didn’t seem to be too keen on us getting off the beach - which added to the adventure! Weather was beautiful. Amazing beach. Someone had managed to spot a penguin but we didn’t quite make it. DEFINITELY worth going to.
Written 5 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

zhuhai2007
Christchurch, New Zealand47,884 contributions
Seals sunbathing
Oct 2020
An easy drive to the car park and short walk to see NZ fur seals sunning themselves on the sand at low tide.
Written 20 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Neil B
Auckland, New Zealand996 contributions
Sea Lions!
Oct 2020 • Couples
Fabulous windswept beach on the Otago Peninsula. Very steep decent, so the return climb is not to be underestimated!

We were lucky enough to find three sea lions basking in the sun on the beach right at the bottom of the access path.

It was blowing a gale, so the sand was being whipped around. Sand flies for sure.
Written 6 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Rantin rover
Biggar, UK8,163 contributions
Sand flies? I was more concerned about my next gasp of air.
Mar 2020
We prepared ourselves to be pestered by those well known little insects which bite however they didn't.

According to a local we met later at the Portobello Hotel, Sandfly Bay got its name from sand flying through the air in the breezy conditions rather than from encounters with the insects. We must have been lucky, we didn't get sand in our eyes either.

Forget the worries about insects and the breeze and prepare yourself for a test of legs and lungs!

There were around 20 parking spaces at the bottom of Seal Point Road and we had no trouble getting one at the time of our visit in March 2020, prior to Covid-19 lockdown.

Little did we realise, as we strolled down the path towards the Bay, that beyond the viewpoint overlooking the beach things become a little more adventurous. Once past an area at the start, where there are small sharp stones mixed with sand, it's probably best to go barefoot. As we descended the track through the dunes it became seriously steep and narrow and comparisons with a couloir in skiing terms sprung to mind! A bit of effort is needed and using your legs to slow yourself down in the deep sand starts to have an effect on the calf muscles, well it did for me. As we passed a couple of poor souls coming back up the route we exchanged a few laughs about how it was all worth the effort. The "path" traverses the dunes towards the bottom of this section before opening up a bit to reach the beach.

The effort was indeed worth it. The beach was pristine, the view out to sea was made interesting with rocky outcrops but most amazing was the light which was catching the water, sand, sky and clouds and almost painting a picture. It was a long stretch of sand and there were very few people there - our type of beach - so we walked its length. We were possibly trying to put off the inevitable, however we did have to climb back up the way we had come. I have never stopped so often to admire the view as I did going up that track through the dunes - even a colourful splash of Purple Ragwort warranted a closer look :-) As if to rub salt in the wounds a young guy overtook us at one point, hardly breaking a sweat.

If you plan to spend some time on the beach you would need to take what you need as there are no facilities. We spent about an hour or so going down, along the beach and back up to the car park. I spent a further 5 minutes towelling my brow.

We found out later that the Bay is apparently a good place to see sea lions and yellow-eyed penguins at dusk. However you would possibly need to tackle the Highcliff Road in darkness when returning and although the section back to Dunedin is not single track, it would not be my idea of fun. The penguins are getting more of a rare sight and on this trip to New Zealand we sadly didn't see any yellow-eyed ones at all in our travels so that would be a factor to consider too.

As mentioned, in our case a refreshing drink and some food was more in mind and the Portobello Hotel, about 15 minutes by car, proved a good choice.
Written 5 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Roman W
Zürich89 contributions
beautiful beach, intresting wildlife, perfect dunes
Mar 2020
very nice beach (yes we were very lucky with the weather...) and encountered seals haveng their nap...fun to ride down the dunes , kids love to surf down the sandy slopes, and for the best experience, take off your shoes and feel the
Written 14 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Stephen K
Gold Coast, Australia10 contributions
No sandfly at this bay ;-)
Feb 2020
I toured Sandfly Bay lookout along with 20 others in our group - we got some really nice scenery photos
Written 3 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jan Willem t
Nijmegen, The Netherlands1,454 contributions
A splendid Dune area and a very steep sandy descend to this beautifull beach
Nov 2019
We were here 3 rd November 2019, a beautifull evening, on the way to see the Yellow eyed penguin. The descend is very steep and long, on the way down I sometimes doubted to continue descending meanwhile thinking about how to climb back! Onze we were on the beach, there was a friendly guard telling us that the penguins only arrive after sunset. This month there were only to couples Yellow eyed penguins here. While waiting for the penguins we were so lucky to see a huge male sea Lion. He was sleeping on the beach just 20 meters behind us. When he woke up he allowed us to make a number of photos, sometimes yorning with his mouth wide open. Later he waddled to the sea side and disappeared in the waves, time to look for a seafood meal! The sun disappeared behind the rock walls and sea fog blurred the view, but an hour later we were rewarded, a shadow came out of the water and a little later we saw the Yellow eyed penguin walking across the beach and climb the dune. Although the quality of the photos was poor due to the limited light and fog, we nevertheless experienced a wonderful moment with a few other nature lovers. The way back via the steep track to the parking was quite tough but the view of the sea lion and the Yellow eyed penguin compensated the efforts!
Written 28 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ERDFirefighter
Edmonton, Canada863 contributions
Beautiful beach and fun to get on
Feb 2020 • Couples
There is a viewing platform at the top of the beach that gives excellent views. However the fun part is going down onto the beach. A very sandy decent down to enjoy the beach and of course a sandy ascent as well. When we were there their were 4 sea lions on the beach.
Written 20 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

MCRwindsor
Ammanford, UK191 contributions
Killer climb
Jan 2020 • Couples
This is a beautiful beach, down a very steep climb down sand dunes. We saw a sea lion leaving the sea for a snooze on the sand, which was amazing. Walking along the beach is fine but the climb back up those sand dunes is not easy, it tends to be two steps up and one back down and is hard work on your calves! I walk about 5 miles a day in Wales, which is not known for being flat and I found this really difficult. When we got back to where we are staying, our landlady informed us that some people have had to be helicoptered off of the beach because the climb defeated them. If you want an easier walk to a beautiful beach, try Allan’s Beach!
Written 25 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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