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St Kilda Beach

St Kilda Beach is located just south of central city Dunedin and is very popular during summer months. The beach gets alot of swell and can be very dangerous with strong rips and holes. Surfers and swimmers are the most popular users of the beach and they should talk with Lifeguards about the best place to be.

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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.


The beach is very attractive in appearance and also very close to town making it accessible to a great many people. The water is cold all year round and people go swimming during the warmer months of the year. The beach is very dangerous. St Kilda commonly has waves and strong rips, and holes are common. There is also a trough between the inner and outer bar which is dangerous for bathers. The beach has a Surf Life Saving Club and swimmers should remain in the patrolled area and ask the Lifeguards any questions if in doubt.


St Kilda gets a great deal of surf and is surfed regularly by locals in the area. Just to the south is St Clair Beach which is generally more popular for surfing because waves are commonly smaller and more accessible. Conditions on the day will determine where surfers will go.


Surf casting from the beach is possible but not that popular. Open ocean fishing is much better. People can dive around either the northern or southern headlands but there must be no swell.

Activities and facilities


  • Canoeing/kayaking
  • Dog walking
  • Horse riding
  • Wind/kite surfing


  • Car parking
  • Playground


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



Patrolled Beach
St Kilda 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. 4/10
Average. 4/10



Safety at St Kilda Beach

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

Patrolled Beach

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

Patrol Hours

The volunteer patrol service at this beach will commence in the summer season. More information about the 2018/2019 season (including start/end dates and times) will be available here once they are confirmed.


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 St Kilda 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


St Kilda Beach is located three kilometres south of the octagon at Dunedin’s city centre. The beach is golden sand and 3.5 kilometres in length, running from Lawyers Head at the northern end of the beach to the headland at St Clair at the southern end. The beach is backed by sand dunes which are very large towards Lawyers Head. The northern end of St Kilda is free of housing and there is a good sized reserve. Chisholm Park Golf Course is also located at this area, while the southern end of the beach around St Clair is quite heavily populated.


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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

Very Low Risk

Less than 1% 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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