Bushy Beach from viewing platform

Image: Enrique Fernández | Creative Commons


Experience the natural coastal habitat of yellow-eyed penguins/hoiho, and watch penguins from the viewing hide as they cross the beach.

Place overview


  • Bird and wildlife watching
  • Walking and tramping

Find things to do and places to stay Bushy Beach Scenic Reserve

About this place

Nature and conservation

The natural coastal vegetation at Bushy Beach Scenic Reserve is the last remaining in the area. Wind-sheared scrub, dominated by hebe, ngaio, mahoe and broadleaf, clings to the cliffs and shelters penguins, other seabirds and a variety of insects.

A unique flora and fauna exists here – a number of native plants and insects are at either their southern or northern geographical limit.

Yellow-eyed penguin/hoiho breed at Bushy Beach. Adult penguins return to feed their young at any time of the day. You can also regularly see New Zealand fur seals, with New Zealand sea lions and elephant seals occasional visitors to the beach.

The oldest known fossil remains of a tuatara in New Zealand were found here on this geologically fascinating headland.

Cape Wanbrow is a mix of volcanic and sedimentary rock features that are internationally significant. Pillow lava surge deposits and volcaniclastic sediments and breccias form steep cliffs with rocky platforms below.

Getting there

Turn off SH1 at the historic city centre of Oamaru. Follow Tyne Street south up to South Hill. Near the top of the hill turn right onto Bushy Beach Road and follow to the end.

Know before you go

No dogs are allowed in the reserve.

To avoid disturbing the yellow-eyed penguins/hoiho, keep off the beach between 3 pm and 9 am.

Keep at least 20 m distance from marine wildlife.

There are no toilet facilities at Bushy Beach.

All drone use must be authorised by DOC

A concession is required to fly a drone on any public conservation land.


Dunedin Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 474 3300
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   dunedinvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   50 The Octagon
Postal Address:   PO Box 5244
Moray Place
Dunedin 9058
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