St. Clair Beach

Soak in the outdoor pool or take on the Pacific Ocean waves at one of New Zealand’s best surfing beaches.

Bask in the sun on the soft sand at St. Clair Beach or have a lesson with the skilled instructors at the local surf school. Swim in the sea or immerse yourself in the warm waters of the outdoor pool.

Escape the urban way of life and become a surfer for the day among the consistent blue rolling waves at St. Clair Beach. Experienced riders will love the powerful waves that break across this long beach while rookies can learn from the best at the Esplanade Surf School. Master the basics on land before you venture out into the rolling waves with one of the school’s qualified instructors.

If you prefer to have your feet on dry land, St. Clair is a beautiful spot to relax in the sun and watch the action in the water from a distance. Paddle lazily in the shallows or just lie on the sand and enhance your tan.

Opened in 1884, the outdoor saltwater pool at the southern end of the beach is perhaps St. Clair’s most recognisable feature. Measuring 25 metres (82 feet) long and located on the rocks beside the ocean, the pool is ideal, whether you are looking to swim a few lengths or watch the surfers showing off their skills.

After a quick plunge, go for a stroll along the esplanade that overlooks the beach. Select from a range of seafood offerings at one of the waterfront restaurants before you hit the bars to enjoy a beer or cocktail as the sun sets. Nearby you will also find several charming cafés that serve fresh coffee and pastries during the morning.

St. Clair Beach is a 10-minute drive southeast of Dunedin’s city centre. Take the bus, or if you are coming independently, use the waterfront parking lot just behind the esplanade.