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Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach is a very popular small bay of only 120 metres in length. The beach has a Lifeguarding service which is provided by Brighton Surf Life Saving Club located directly behind the bay on the grassy reserve. Swimming is popular during summer while fishing and surfing remain popular all year round. Brighton Beach is exposed to a lot of swell and there are many natural hazards at the beach. All beach users should be careful.

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Family friendly

This beach is well suited for families, make sure your family is prepared for the beach conditions, the beach is patrolled by Surf Lifeguards during the summer months.


Brighton Beach is a small bay and has a lifeguarding service. The beach is safe in small swells but has many potential hazards to bathers. There are a lot of rocks and reefs at the beach, concentrated at either end but also present in the centre of the bay. It is common for rips to form at both the northern and southern ends of the small bay and these increase in intensity dependent on the size of the swell. Swimmers should seek advice from surf lifeguards and always swim in the patrolled area.


Brighton Beach is a popular surfing location that is prone to the predominant swell in the Otago area. Good sand bars form off the island and nearby rocks and reefs, with the best wave commonly being a right hander in the middle of the bay. Brighton Beach can be surfed on any tide but the best waves are generally between mid high tide.


Fishing at Brighton Beach is popular. Surf casting from the beach and rocks is good but rock fishing is not advised if there is any swell. Boats can be launched with a tractor or good 4WD but this is only possible when swells are less than half a metre. The best fishing and diving can only be reached by boat.

Activities and facilities


  • Canoeing/kayaking
  • Dog walking
  • Horse riding
  • Motorbikes/4WD's
  • Shell fish gathering


  • Car parking
  • Public toilets


The beach is our favourite playground, but it can also be a dangerous place. Learn about the hazards at Brighton Beach and be prepared so you and your family can enjoy the sun, sea and sand safely this summer.



Patrolled Beach
Brighton Beach is a patrolled beach.
Stay safe - swim beween the flags.

Forecast provided by SwellMap.com

Mainly clear with some cloud
Max Temp.
Water Temp.

Water Conditions

For boating and surfing
Average. 5/10
Good. 9/10


Safety at Brighton Beach

We want you to have a great time whilst visiting Brighton Beach. But take a moment to learn more about being safe on New Zealand Beaches. More ►

Patrolled Beach

Patrolled Beach
Brighton Beach is a patrolled beach.
Stay safe - swim beween the flags.

Patrol Hours

Brighton Beach is patrolled on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays between 16 November 2019 and 8 March 2020. Volunteer lifeguards patrol from 12:00pm to 5:00pm. A Regional Lifeguard Service is provided Monday to Friday from 11:00am to 7:00pm during 18 December 2019 to 31 January 2020.


Click a safety symbol for more information on the risk

4 simple rules to keep you safe

We want you to have a great time whilst visiting Brighton Beach. But take a moment to learn more about being safe on New Zealand beaches and looking out for each other. More ►

The Water Safety Code:

  • Be prepared
  • Watch out for yourself and others
  • Be aware of the dangers
  • Know your limits
DIAL 111 in the event of an emergency


Brighton Beach is located 19 kilometres southwest of central city Dunedin. Brighton Beach is a small bay only 120 metres in length and a picturesque location. Brighton Surf Life Saving Club is located 20 metres behind the beach face on the grassy reserve that backs the beach. There are rocky headlands and reefs that extend from both the northern and southern ends of the beach. The main road runs around the top of the small headland at the northern end giving a great view. At the southern end of Brighton Beach there is a small stream mouth and also a small island (30 metres wide). Beyond the small southern headland there is a playing field. The fine white sand that makes up the beach complement the rest of the beach’s features (the beach is backed by a large residential community).


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Beach Water Quality

The Overall Recreation Risk is a guide to give a general picture of water quality at a site. Updated annually, it is calculated from bacteria (enterococci) data collected over the last three years. The Overall Recreation Risk indicator is a precautionary approach to managing health risk and is not designed to represent health risk on a particular day. As such, a site can have an Overall Recreation Risk of ‘Caution’ but still be suitable for swimming some of the time.

Overall recreation risk

The long term risk status based on three years of data

Moderate Risk

Between 5 and 10% risk of illness

Many councils also provide the results of their weekly monitoring. This lets people know what the most recent bacteria levels were. Remember, even sites with low risk can be unsuitable to swim at from time to time and we recommend that you avoid swimming for 48 hours after heavy rainfall.

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