Beaches in Otago

Photo by othree

About Otago, NZ

Otago is situated in the southern half of New Zealand’s South Island. It is the country’s most inland region and is known for its unique terrain, well-defined seasons, stunning views, wine, and friendly people.

In Otago, you’ll find mountains to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. The region has a very diverse landscape, which includes snow-capped, craggy, and alpine mountains, vast plains and drylands, rolling tussock-clad hills, deep valleys and gorges, waterfalls, and starry skies.

Rushing rivers, glacial lakes, and sandy, remote beaches provide lots of opportunities for things to do by the water, both inland and along the coast. On the coast, you’ll find mostly sandy beaches, and inland, shores of gravel, grass, or sand line the shores of lakes and rivers.

Swimming Water Quality in Otago

Otago Regional Council monitors a total of 26 swimming spots in the region. These spots include 14 coastal beaches, 8 lakes, and 4 rivers, which are monitored weekly from December 1 to March 15.

Water Sports and Activities in Otago

In the Pacific Ocean, swimming, surfing, and sandboarding down dunes are popular activities. You can also spot plentiful wildlife along the coast, such as Albatros, terns, and seals. At Sandfly Bay on the Otago Peninsula, you’re likely to see Hooker’s Sea Lions and penguins. Kaka Point Beach is a favourite destination for swimming and surfing.

Inland, rivers and lakes are popular places for running, cycling, camping, kayaking, waterskiing, boating, and sailing. Not far from Queenstown, scenic Lake Wanaka is nestled among the Southern Alps inviting those who like jet boating, paddling, fishing, and swimming. While you’re there, check out the ‘lone tree of Lake Wanaka’, a single tree that grows off the shore in the Lake’s southern end.

Weather in Otago

Otago’s climate is marked by extremes and distinct seasons. It is New Zealand’s coldest and driest region. During summer, the days are long and warm, hot, and dry. The region is warmest from December to February, with temperatures ranging from 23-24 °C (73-75 °F). The water is warmest during these months as well, reaching 15 °C (59 °F).

Otago’s beaches and swimming spots are some of New Zealand’s most unique, uncrowded, and stunning. This region welcomes wildlife-lovers, adventurers, and anyone looking to experience the wide diversity of terrain New Zealand has to offer.

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