The small settlement of Aramoana is tranquil and relaxing, with many attractions. There are no shops or streetlights, and many of the houses are cribs.
The nearby beaches are an amazing experience. The steep cliffs barrel down onto the beach and into the water. The beaches are separated by the Aramoana Mole, a massive man made breakwater used to keep the harbour clear. The Aramoana Spit is another stretch of land extending into the harbour.
There is a boardwalk through the nearby salt marsh. It leads to a viewing platform with views of incoming ships and the local bird life. This special area is a wildlife reserve, and is the least modified salt marsh in Otago.
Many wildlife species occupy the greater Aramoana area. Native New Zealand sea lions are often found resting on the spit and mole.
Yellow-eyed penguins nest near the beach past Keyhole Rock. If you’re lucky you will see them on the beach. Most penguins sightings are in the morning and night as they will otherwise be nesting or at sea.
Respect the local wildlife. Do not enter the sand dunes, as you will interrupt the nesting penguins. Sea lions can be dangerous, keep your distance. They are faster on land than you would expect.
To get there, follow the road around the harbour past Port Chalmers. The boardwalk starts at the domain. The beach is ahead as you arrive.