Take a break at Taieri Mouth

By: Jackie Norman, Photography by: Gareth Scurr


NZMCD travel writer Jackie Norman takes a break at Taieri Mouth in Dunedin and discovers that even in winter, this beach is a gem

If you’re in the Dunedin area and want to get away from the bustling city, then tranquillity and olde worlde charm is just a short drive away.

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The small fishing village of Taieri Mouth is one of our favourite places to spend a peaceful couple of days. You can get there either from the Clutha District end (turn off at Lake Waihola and descend the winding road into the village) or by heading south out of Dunedin and following the enjoyable coastal drive which passes through Brighton.

Even in winter, the beach is spectacular, with its pristine white sands and distinctive landmark, Moturata Island. Visitors can walk to the island at low tide, although caution is advised as the tides can change quickly.

Another enjoyable activity is the Millennium walking track, which follows the Taieri River, ascending into native forests and through the gorge to Henley. The track takes around two hours and is easy and well maintained but can get muddy at this time of year, so be sure to wear appropriate footwear.

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When it comes to places to stay, motorhomers have several options. The Ocean View Recreation Reserve near Brighton is a popular freedom camping spot, although being relatively small, it fills quickly. Brighton Caravan Park is also nearby, however, our favourite is the Taieri Mouth Beach Holiday Campground where you can park right behind the dunes.

This paid campground really takes you back to the good old days of camping: friendly owners, good facilities, and plenty of space. The rates are good, too. Just be aware there is no EFTPOS, so you’ll need cash, and it pays to park on the upper level in winter or wet weather, as is prone to flooding on the flats. Don’t let that put you off, though, this place is a gem!

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