The Māori name for Oreti Beach is irrevocably poetic. For visitors looking for things to do when exploring the city of Invercargill, Invercargill’s closest beach is a mere 10-minute drive from the central city and it is definitely worth a look.
The 26-kilometre stretch of soft, creamy sand is a favourite for locals – although local Māori were onto something when they mentioned the southerly breeze. Rain or shine, though, the beach is a stunning place to visit and offers a great photo opportunity.
On a clear day you will catch unspoiled views of Southland’s coastline, as well as glimpses of the Takitimu mountain range – in Māori legend, this was the waka (canoe) their ancestors arrived to the area in – and even across Foveaux Strait to Rakiura (Stewart Island).
The beach is bordered by sand dunes that act as a natural buffer between the land and the sea; they continually erode and re-establish as part of the land’s natural physical development.
Oreti Beach is well known as the famous practice ground of local legend Burt Munro, subject of the film The World’s Fastest Indian, which starred the great Sir Anthony Hopkins.
Round off your visit with lunch at Ziffs Café and Bar in Otatara. The polished wooden floors creates an intimate, sophisticated feel which attracts a discerning crowd. Food on offer showcases local specialties such as seafood chowder and blue cod, as well as antipasto selections and comfort dishes such as penne, pies, and bangers.
Ziffs Café and Bar
143 Dunns Road, Otatara
Phone: +64 3 213 0501