Image: Karen Connor | DOC
3 km return via same track
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.
Turn off Highcliff Road onto Seal Point Road. The track begins at the Sandfly Bay carpark at the end of this road.
Sandfly Bay has a significant colony of yellow-eyed penguins/hoiho. Don't linger on the beach or anywhere else where they may come ashore. If you encounter a penguin on the beach keep well away (50 m) and crouch down. If they feel threatened they will not come ashore.
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 20 m away from sleeping sea lions and if you are in a group don't surround them. Seals and sea lions may look placid but they are powerful, wild predators and can be very dangerous if they are approached too closely.
Other seabirds such as spotted shags, sooty shearwaters and variable oystercatchers are also based in the area.
Don't leave valuables in your car – there have been break-ins.
Swimming can be dangerous where there are strong winds and currents.