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Oreti Beach

Oreti Beach gets swimmers during the summer months but the beach is not that good for fishing or surfing. Oreti Surf Life Saving Club is located behind the beach in the large sand dunes. Patrons can drive onto the beach and there is a great deal of hard sand from around mid tide to low tide. The beach commonly has rips. Side shore drift and holes can form depending on conditions.

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Family friendly

A good beach for families with some facilities and is patrolled by Surf Lifeguards over summer months. It does have the potential to be dangerous in poor conditions so ensure your family is well prepared.


Oreti Beach is popular during summer months with local Invercargill residents. The beach slopes gently into the ocean allowing bathers to get some distance offshore before reaching water over their heads. Oreti Beach has rips and holes. When there is surf, swimmers should swim in the patrolled area or ask Lifeguards for advice about the beach.


Surfing is quite possible at Oreti Beach but the waves generally are not very good for surfing. It remains very shallow and waves break a long distance offshore even when small waves are not powerful. Oreti Beach is not a very popular surfing location but it can have good waves for learners. Oreti Beach is close to the Catlins and there are numerous good waves there.


Oreti Beach is not recognised as a good fishing beach. The beach remains too shallow. Fishing in the area is much more productive from the other bank of new river estuary and around the Riverton Beach area.

Activities and facilities


  • Canoeing/kayaking
  • Dog walking
  • Horse riding
  • Motorbikes/4WD's
  • Wind-powered vehicles



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



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

Forecast provided by SwellMap.com

Sunny and clear skies
Max Temp.
Water Temp.

Water Conditions

For boating and surfing
Average. 4/10
Good. 10/10



Safety at Oreti Beach

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

Patrolled Beach

Patrolling club: Oreti SLSC
Patrolled Beach
Oreti Beach is a patrolled beach.
Stay safe - swim beween the flags.

Patrol Hours

Oreti Beach is patrolled on Saturdays and Sundays between 16 November 2019 and 8 March 2020. Volunteer lifeguards patrol from 12:00pm to 5:00pm.


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 Oreti 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


Oreti Beach is located 13 kilometres from Invercargill and faces out towards Stewart Island over the Foreaux Strait. Oreti Beach is the location of New Zealand’s southern most Surf Life Saving Club, Oreti Surf Club. The beach is very long, stretching from Otaitai Bush in the west for over 30 kilometres to the inlet mouth of new river estuary in the east. The beach is a hard pack golden sand that is easily driven on. Behind the beach are massive sand dunes that are well established and quite stable. The beach slopes gently into the ocean and this low gradient continues for some distance into the ocean creating a huge surf zone of 500-600 metres. The beach is backed by a small residential community and motor camp. Oreti Surf Life Saving Club is located in the sand dunes behind the beach.

Public Transport

Sorry, we have no public transport information available for this beach.


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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


There is not enough data to generate a recreational risk grade.

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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