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Walks to Sandfly Bay, Sandymount and Allans Beach on Otago Peninsula combine coastal views with wildlife viewing.

Track overview

Return via same track

Walking and tramping

5 min to 1 hr Easy: Walking track

Seasonal restrictions

Sandymount/Lovers Leap Track is closed for lambing from 1 September-15 October.

Dog access

No dogs

About this track


Sandfly Bay

Sandfly Bay, Otago Peninsula. Photo: F Hall.
Sandfly Bay

Time: 1 hr return
Distance: 3 km return 

Getting there
Turn off Highcliff Road onto Seal Point Road. The carpark is at the end of this road.

A path crosses farmland to the top of the sand dunes. Go down the sand hill – which can be rather testing on the return, uphill journey – and walk about 1 km along the beach. Near the southern end a marked track leads up to a hide to view the locals – yellow-eyed penguins.

New Zealand fur seals/kekeno and New Zealand sea lions/rāpoka haul out on the rocks and beach and wallow in the sand. Keep at least 10 m away from sleeping sea lions, 20 m from active animals and if you are in a group don't surround them.

With penguins, don't linger on the beach below the hide, or anywhere else where they may come ashore. If you encounter a penguin on the beach keep well away and crouch down. If they feel threatened they will not come ashore.

Respect the very special wildlife on this beach. Sandfly Bay has a significant colony of yellow-eyed penguins/hoiho. Other seabirds such as spotted shags, sooty shearwaters and variable oystercatchers are also based in the area.

Dogs are not allowed at Sandfly Bay. 


Lovers Leap 50 min return
Sandymount Circuit 1 hr return, 2.5 km

Getting there:
Turn off Highcliff Road onto Sandymount Road and the carpark is at the end of the road.

The loop track begins at the carpark at the end of Sandymount Road. This walk via The Chasm and Lovers Leap – with a side track to Sandymount summit – gives spectacular views of Otago Peninsula’s coastline and cliff tops. Another marked route provides alternative access to Sandfly Bay.

Allans Beach

Yellow-eyed penguin. Photo: C Pullar.
Yellow-eyed penguin, up close and

Time: 5 min to the beach

Getting there
From Portobello turn onto Allans Beach Road. The carpark is at the end of the road.

Special wildlife such as sea lions and penguins frequent this wild ocean beach. Respect their needs by keeping at least 10 m away from sleeping sea lions, and 20 m from active animals. Do not linger on beaches where penguins may come ashore.

To protect wildlife, dogs are not allowed on the eastern end of the beach, but are allowed on a leash at the western end.

Getting there

From Dunedin the two main routes to the peninsula are either Portobello Road or Highcliff Road.

Know before you go

Swimming can be dangerous where there are strong winds and currents.

The nearest toilets are in Portobello.


Dunedin Office
Phone:   +64 3 477 0677
Address:   77 Lower Stuart Street
Conservation House
Full office details
Dunedin Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 474 3300
Address:   50 The Octagon
Full office details
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