Hiking in Dunedin: the Sandymount Loop Track

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We only stayed at  Leith Valley Touring Park in Dunedin for one night, so we didn’t have time to visit this student hub with Scottish heritage. We were there to hike (or tramp like the Kiwis say) the Sandymount Loop Track. This trail is situated on the Otago Peninsula on New Zealand’s South Island, providing great views of the coastline.

In this blogpost we’ll tell you all about the Sandymount Loop Track near Dunedin.

How to get to the Sandymount Loop Track in Dunedin

The Sandymount Loop Track is located in the Sandymount Recreation Reserve on the Otago Peninsula, near Dunedin. Like many hikes in New Zealand, the car park at the trailhead is only accessible over an unsealed road. Definitely worth it though, as the stunning views already start before you parked your car (or campervan). Keep in mind that you’ll be hiking out in the open, exposed to the weather. It can get quite windy up there, as you’re on the coastline.

View at the Sandymount Loop TrailheadView at the Sandymount Loop Trailhead

Hiking the Sandymount Loop Track in Dunedin

It’s recommended to hike the Sandymount Loop Track in counterclockwise direction. We accidentally started the other way around. Probably the reason why it took us just over an hour to finish, instead of the average 40-50 minutes. If you hike counterclockwise, you descend the steep sand path which we had to climb. You’re warned!

Feel like a Shepherd while walking through the MeadowsFeel like a Shepherd while walking through the Meadows

We started our hike in the early afternoon. After a short part through woods, we reached a meadow filled with grazing sheep. No walking around it, you have to go through to reach the Chasm Lookout. We kind of felt like shepherds, walking with the sheep. Note that the Sandymount Loop Track is closed for lambing from September to October.

Both the Chasm and  Lover's Leap Lookout are on the edge of the cliffs, providing breathtaking views over the wild sea beneath your feet. We didn’t go to Sandfly Bay, but rather climbed the steep sand path to the Sandymount Summit. A trig (a GPS receiver system tracking Alpine Fault movements) stands at an elevation of 319 meters, together with a plaque identifying the surrounding views.

Made it to the Top!Made it to the Top!
Enjoying the views at the Sandymount Loop TrackEnjoying the views at the Sandymount Loop Track
View from the TopView from the Top

The views we’ve seen while hiking the Sandymount Loop Track were pretty amazing. We only saw a couple of other hikers from afar. No crowds here! It’s a nice loop trail, but remember to hike it counterclockwise to dodge the steep sandy climb. Keep on tramping!


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Hiking in Dunedin: the Sandymount Loop TrackHiking in Dunedin: the Sandymount Loop Track