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Learn drawing and painting in the context of Botanical Art and Illustration. A wide range of colour illustration strategies are taught. Join us for these very popular tutored art classes, led by a practising ... More ►
The Otago Art Society 146th Annual Exhibition will open on the 18th of June until the 16th of July. The exhibition features OAS member’s artwork in a range of mediums including sculpture, painting, photography, and ... More ►

Waikouaiti Beach

Waikouaiti Beach is located two kilometres drive from State Highway 1 and is accessed through Waikouaiti township. The beach has a scattering of local residents and the most popular all year round activity is fishing. Surfers also will use the beach during winter but swimming is isolated to the summer months. The beach is the shape of a squashed horse shoe and there will usually be a calm end of the beach. The beach can be dangerous during larger swells.

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Family friendly

A good beach for families however limited facilities and can be dangerous in poor conditions.


Waikouaiti Beach slopes gently into the ocean and if there is a wave it is usually even and gentle making the beach a good swimming location. There is a motor camp located behind the central beach area and this is popular during summer months. The beach does become dangerous in southeast swells and swimmers should be careful under such circumstances. The beach has no Lifeguarding service.


The beach is not the most popular surfing location in the area but never the less it gets good surfable waves in southeast swells. The beach is popular for people who are learning to surf.


Waikouaiti Beach is commonly fished by locals in the area. The headland at the northern end of the beach is popular as is the tidal inlet/rivermouth at the southern end near Karitane. Small boats can also be launched from the beach over the hard sand.

Activities and facilities



  • Car parking


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



Unpatrolled Beach
Unpatrolled beach.
Never swim or surf alone.

Forecast provided by SwellMap.com

Sunny with some cloud
Max Temp.
Water Temp.

Water Conditions

For boating and surfing
Average. 4/10
Good. 7/10



Safety at Waikouaiti Beach

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

Unpatrolled Beach

Unpatrolled Beach
Unpatrolled beach.
Never swim or surf alone.


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 Waikouaiti 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


Waikouaiti Beach is located 15 kilometres south of Palmerston and 42 kilometres northeast of Dunedin. The beach is four kilometres in length and extends from Cornish Head in the north to Karitane inlet in the south. The beach is made up of a light golden sand that becomes hard pack when covered by water. On the low tide the beach is used by harness trainers to work out their horses. The northern end of the beach is backed by a gravel road that runs behind the beach. There is also a sports ground, a golf course just behind the beach and Waikouwaiti township is located one kilometre from the beach.

Public Transport

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


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Beach Water Quality

Many councils 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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