Boatshed, Otago Peninsula.  © Ben Arthur.

Loved by the locals: Otago Peninsula

Otago Peninsula
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1. Allans Beach

This stunning wild beach at the northern end of the Otago Peninsula is accessed by the road that winds around Hoopers Inlet and is a handy spot to really connect with the wildlife and natural beauty of the Peninsula. Allow a couple of hours here to walk along the beach to the entrance to the Inlet.

Sea lions can often be found sunbathing on the beach and fur seals breed on the rocks at the beach’s northern end – keep an eye out for pups playing in the rock pools. Remember these are wild animals and must be given plenty of space.

2. Portobello

Set in a crook of the harbour and festooned with colourful boat sheds, this enticing little village is a great place to stop for a meal or a coffee.

The 1908 Bar and Café offers fantastic food at very reasonable prices, while the sunny little Penguin Café caters to your caffeine needs. The Happy Hens ceramic art studio offers an insight into the quirky arty side of the Peninsula.

Portobello is a great place to just wander the foreshore and enjoy the Otago sunshine – check out the little museum (open only Sundays) on Matariki Street for a bit of local history.

3. Lover’s Leap / Sandymount

The walk out to the twin eroded gulches of Lovers Leap and The Chasm leads through an eerie tunnel of macrocarpa trees and through farmland where sheep graze, seemingly oblivious to the breathtaking views across the Pacific Ocean. Dunedin band The Chills filmed their famous music video for Pink Frost in this area.

If you’re feeling like a longer stretch of the legs, allow around two hours to continue along the Sandymount track to Sandfly Bay, which is a well-known spot for yellow-eyed penguins and sea lions.

4. Bellamy’s Gallery

Found in the village of MacAndrew Bay, around fifteen minutes’ drive from Dunedin, this spacious family-owned gallery, warmed by a log fire in winter, showcases the work of renowned Dunedin artists Pauline, John and Max Bellamy, Manu Berry and Emma Chalmers.

The works of Pauline Bellamy and Manu Berry in particular evocatively explore Otago landscapes and people, and one of their sought-after pieces may be the precious souvenir of your time in the area you’re looking for.

View of Harbour Cone one beautiful Dunedin evening.

A post shared by Alan Dove (@alandovephotography) on May 29, 2017 at 12:36pm PDT

5. Glenfalloch Gardens

These spectacular woodland gardens are found close to the city and there is a very good restaurant here as well. The Gardens rent out electric bikes, which are a great option for travelling the Peninsula.

A visit here provides a great chance to tap into the Peninsula’s Scottish heritage, but the birdlife has a definite indigenous accent – tūī and bellbirds flock to the peaceful groves that crowd the tracks. 

🍂🍃🍁❤

A post shared by Kate N (@viatrix7) on Aug 21, 2016 at 6:12am PDT

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