The huge dune of Sandymount has been built of wind-blown sand and is now consolidated into farmland. Lovers Leap and The Chasm are two precipitous coastal formations which add to the expansive Otago Peninsula views.
The track is closed for lambing between 1st September and 15th October.
From Portobello Follow Highcliff Road 4.6 km to Sandymount Road. This winding unsealed road dips and mounts the dunes before rising to an elevated parking area and the start of the tracks. The road is slippery when wet an not suited to large campervans.
From the parking area the track is signposted. This description does and anticlockwise loop of Sandymount.
Head immediately to the left and climb to a triangulation marker on the summit. There are 360 degree views over Sandfly Bay, the harbour, ocean and peninsula.
Back on the main track the wide track undulates through the gorse and scrub. Signposts at the junction keep you heading left.
After dipping into a coastal ngaio forest with convoluted trunks, you exit onto farmland. The lookout platform over Lovers Leap is visible.
Keep winding round the hill. Pass through the farm gate just after the expansive views of Hoopers Inlet come to view. This lookout over The Chasm completes the duo of vertiginous coastal drops.
The avenue of macrocarpa trees past the farm shed, lead back to the parking area.
Rock arches such as Lovers Leap are formed by the continuous erosion of waves exploiting a weakness in the rock. This process enlarges a cave which eventually pierces a hole and continues to erode the weaker vein of rock. Eventually this form an arch. In time, this arch will collapse and form and entry for the sea, like at The Chasm.
Macrocarpa is a North American cypress which has adapted well to the windy conditions of Otago Peninsula.
South Island ▷ Coastal Otago ▷ Dunedin
Great scenery driving/hiking on Highcliff Road. From there one can reach the bay area or hike down to the pacific coast. Awesome view and picnic opportunity at Rotary Park.
Saw sea lions and Albatross. No penguins though. Beautiful area!
Save up to 70% on campsite fees! Support conservation and experience the natural beauty of NZ. 74 Department of Conservation campsites, one convenient pass.
We saw heaps of Albatross and seals, very spectacular and well worth the drive.
Seals, penguins and birds catching fish in the cascading waves.
Access savings worth hundreds of $$ on Top Ranked NZ Accommodation and Activities for just $1 per day.
Jared and Evi
With Otago Peninsula and its wildlife, Dunedin is my favourite city in New Zealand. The Victorian architecture, the nightlife and the vibes are a great combination. Make sure you visit while the university students are there!
We walked down to the bay where the seals are asleep all around us plus some swimming right close to the shore!
It is a long trip to reach the albatross viewing point. Nice landscape. No penguins before sunset.
magdalena gomez haedo
We went for a ride and then walked through the beaches. We couldn't see the penguins but if you go at 6.00am or at sunset you could see them. Nice peninsula full of birds. We saw some albatross.
Anssens Weber Florie Brian
Our favorite walk during our trip. We choosed the Lover Leap track.
Allen's Beach. Get lucky and you can watch for seals on the beach!
Amazing wildlife, well sign posted, good views. Enjoyed.
Beautiful views and short walks to different Bays (Sandfly Bay + Ocean Grove)
From Sandfly Beach to Lovers Leap walk through huge sand dunes, ends at amazing cliff.
Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍