Introduction

Sandfly Bay Recreation Reserve is remarkable for its native fauna and flora and its spectacular views of the Otago Peninsula coastline and cliff tops. Among the many outstanding natural features are the yellow-eyed penguins.

Note: Due to recent storm damage, the viewing hide at Sandfly Bay is closed until further notice.


Yellow-eyed penguins/hoiho

Sandfly Bay has a significant colony of yellow-eyed penguins/hoiho. To view the penguins, a marked track leads up to a public viewing hide near the southern end of the beach. Do not linger on the beach or around the rocks, if the penguins feel threatened they will not come ashore. The best viewing time is late afternoon or early evening.

Hoiho and young. Photo: Cheryl Pullar.
Hoiho and young

Birdlife

Other seabirds such as spotted shags, sooty shearwaters and variable oystercatchers are also based in the area.

Marine mammals

New Zealand fur seals/kekeno and New Zealand sea lions/pakake haul out on the rocks and beach and wallow in the sand. Keep at least 10 m away from them and if you are in a group do not surround them - they can run fast! 

Getting there

From Highcliff Road, (which is along the top of the Otago Peninsula), turn onto Seal Point Road. Carpark at road end.

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