One of the best ways to explore any destination is by foot. Dunedin’s beautiful outdoors are well worth exploring with a variety of tracks that offer unique views of the city, farmland and forest landscapes and rugged coastlines. No matter what fitness level you are or the amount of time you want to spend, our top 5 picks include a variety of options to suit you. Click to read more and start planning your next adventure!
The best way to explore any destination is on foot. Dunedin’s beautiful outdoors are well worth exploring with a variety of tracks that offer unique views of the city, farmland and forest landscapes and rugged coastlines. Even for those familiar with the Dunedin area, we can almost guarantee that there is a walk, in our list, that you might not have ventured to yet, or at the very least, is worth visiting once again (perhaps try venturing out at a different time of the day for either sunrise or sunset).
No matter what fitness level you are or the amount of time you want to spend, Dunedin offers a variety of walking tracks that give you a glimpse of its natural beauty and will give you a whole new appreciation for the Otago region. Scroll below to view some of the stunning pictures captured on these walking tracks and the key information for each.
1. Heyward Point
This track is situated on the coastline of the east coast of Otago and is best when ventured on a sunny day! While this clifftop track requires a little bit of extra effort on the way back, the stunning sights are well worth it with views of Taiaroa Head, the mouth of the Otago Harbour, Otago east coast and Aramoana once you have reached Heyward point. The end of this track also coincides closely with a seal colony so you can catch your breath and watch the endearing seals play. Meandering through farmland and regenerated forest, while offering coastal delights, this track offers the best of both worlds!
Distance: 5km return
Time: 2 hours
Photo credit: Jon Algie
2. Tunnel Beach
Tunnel Beach is a short walk down a moderately steep hill. Therefore, the walk back is a little more challenging, however, the short distance means that this is largely manageable for most ages and fitness levels. More importantly, the magnificence of Tunnel Beach is well worth it. Once at the bottom, sightseers are provided views of Dunedin’s beautifully rugged coastline and a tunnel that arches underneath a portion of the coastal land.
A seating area allows visitors to sit and admire the views. However, for those keen to venture some more, you can walk across the protruding coastal land or follow a man-made tunnel down to a secluded beach.
Time: 1 hour
Photo credit: Stephen Jaquiery, ODT
3. Pineapple Track
The Pineapple Track climbs the southeastern slopes of Flagstaff hill and, therefore, is more suited to those who feel comfortable with walking longer distances and at times, steep inclines. However, as this track is situated on Dunedin’s skyline, it offers unique panoramic views of the city and the Taieri Plains. The surrounding nature contrasts quite differently to other walking tracks around Dunedin and may be a nice option for those interested in flora and fauna, with the track located amidst native bush such as Broadleaf, Fuchsia, Manuka, Wineberry and Coprosmas.
Distance: 2.5 km
Time: 2 hours
Photo Credit: Dunedin Attractions
4. Sandymount Track
This track is perfect for those wanting to explore the coastline but desires a walk that is a little bit easier. This loop track offers a variety of viewpoints, including Allans Beach and Hoopers Inlet. Further along the way, you will also get the chance to stop at a new viewing platform which also includes panoramic views of Mt Charles and areas inland of Harbour Cone. All in all, a varied walk which is an easy one to tick off the list!
Distance: 2.5 km
Time: 1 hour
Photo Credit: Nina Ragusa
5. Highcliff Track
Reserved for those who really seek a challenge, Highcliff is one of the harder tracks in our top 5 list. Another coastal track, this rugged route offers a variety of distances and tracks, however, for the full experience, we suggest venturing along the Highcliff track to Boulder Beach and back. These tracks are even suitable for those who may be interested in mountain biking.
Time: 1.5 hours
Photo Credit: Dunedin City Council