Hike the Sandymount Circuit



1.6 miles

Elevation Gain

341.2 ft

Route Type


Added by Tiffany Young

Is it a painting? Or is it just a canvas of Dunedin's epic coastline cliffs and lush green hills?

NOTE: Track is closed September 1 to October 15 for the lambing season.

If you're one of the lucky ones that have time to squeeze Dunedin into your adventure packed road trip around New Zealand... then you obviously have to make time to visit the Otago Peninsula! Sandymount is a stunning reserve that has become one of my favorite sunset destinations.

I'm not lying to you when I say this is an incredibly special place. When I set out for what should've been a 20 minute drive, but grew into an hour long detour around a lot of road work - I didn't expect my frustration to be instantly forgotten the second I reached the coast.

A lot of the road is unsealed and gravel. And it takes time and patience to get to the carpark, but the drive into the reserve will take your breath away as the Dunedin hills pulls you in. When you reach the end of Sandymount Rd, park your car and take in the incredible view, it's perfect.

This walk will make you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. Town isn't far, but at the same time, it's far enough to only connect with the natural surroundings of the trees, coastline, and wildlife. Yes, there is a lot of sheep. (Be cautious of loose sheep on the road in!)

Take on the loop from either end, but I heard it is easier to take the loop counterclockwise to descend the sand dunes on the track instead of climbing them. Follow the easy to spot orange trail markers and watch as the track brings you closer to the epic coastline. This loop will take you to the Chasm and Lovers Leap, but take the time and walk to side tracks to the Sandymount summit (320m) and Sandfly Bay (about 45 minutes from the carpark.)

Dress for exposed climates. On a windy day, expect the wind to reel in a few loose hats!

When you get back to the carpark, enjoy the view of the Hoopers Inlet and the peninsula again. There's a picnic table. So go ahead and take a seat for your chillin' pleasures.

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Know for

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area



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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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