When we first visited Dunedin last year in September (2012), Simon's mom took us to a beach she had gone to with her film class called Allans Beach. The beach has a nesting area for the yellow-eyed penguins, is dotted with sea lions and is located approximately half an hour outside of the city along the Otago Peninsula.
Driving out to the beach feels like you are driving out to no where. You have to go along a narrow dirt road that straddles an estuary on both sides! Eventually the road comes to an end under some big pine trees. You then have to hop over a fence and walk through a paddock (pasture) till you reach the sandy trail that leads you to the beach. As you follow the trail over the sand dunes keep your eyes peeled b/c sea lions are usually sleeping nearby.
Arriving at the end of the trail you see a kilometre long, white sand surf beach. The color of the water is an amazing deep green to turquoise blue color. And it is evidently one of the best surfing spots in NZ. As you walk down the beach you will *normally* see sea lions basking in the sun. Look closely b/c they blend in with the sand really well! At the end of the beach is where the penguins live.
When we visited this beach the first time we saw sea lions and it was amazing, but it was so freakin' cold. The second time we went with our very good friends and first visitors from Auckland, we got the tide wrong and couldn't even get on the beach, so we saw no sea lions or penguins. But we still had an awesome time!
So tips for visiting this beach is go at low tide and do not go during a Southerly or else you will be blown away and will freeze your tail off! This is one place I cannot wait to visit during the peak of summer! Bring it!
September 2012 - can you spot the sea lion?
Oh yea, and us adults got a night out w/ no kids, thanks to GiGi and Jedi! We went to the Mexican restaurant Del Sol after kiddy hour! Olay!