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Oceania > New Zealand > South Island > Otago > Blueskin Bay

Blueskin Bay is in Otago, New Zealand, 25 km north of Dunedin, 25 km south of Palmerston, and 350 km south of Christchurch. The area's small towns and villages of Waitati, Warrington, Seacliff, Evansdale and Doctors Point attract lifestyle-commuter types who work in the city and alternative dudes who want to do their own thing.



Blueskin Bay is an estuary where the Waitati River and Careys Creek meet the Pacific Ocean, on the east Otago coast. New Zealand's main north-south rail line, State Highway 1 and "The Other 1" all pass through here. The Bay lends its name unofficially to the surrounding district which is geographically and socially on the fringes of Dunedin. There is an unusually large proportion of Germans in Waitati.

Cockle Harvesting in Blueskin Bay

Get in


By bus

  • The Christchurch-Dunedin highway bus transport services operated by Intercity stop at Evansdale or Waitati if requested. Information on all highway bus services is available from Taieri Gorge Railway, tel +64 3 477-4449. There is no regular long-distance train service.
  • Dunedin-Palmerston bus service provided by the Otago Regional Council and operated on their behalf by Passenger Transport Citibus serves Waitati and Evansdale on State Highway One: reservations are not essential but you can call the driver on +64 27 262 2465.
  • Oamaru-Dunedin-Oamaru shuttle operated by Coastline Tours +64 27 256 5651 serves the same routes as above and also Warrington and Seacliff on request via Coast Road.

By train


There is no longer a train service from Christchurch. The "Seasider" scenic train [1], tel +64 3 477-4449, operates twice weekly over the summer from Dunedin to Palmerston and back, and can be requested to stop en route by arrangement.

Get around

Map of Blueskin Bay

For transport between Waitati and Evansdale or Warrington refer to the local transport services mentioned in "By bus" above.

  • 1 Orokonui Ecosanctuary (entrance from Blueskin Rd, between Waitati and Port Chalmers), +64 3 482-1755. A nature reserve being restored to its pre-human ecosystem. The ecosanctuary is surrounded by a pest exclusion fence and threatened native birds and lizards are being brought in to this safe haven. New Zealand's tallest tree, a eucalyptus introduced from Australia, is now enclosed by the Ecosanctuary. Opened in 2008 it includes a shop and cafe.
  • Doctors Point: picnic area, beach, boat launching area at the estuary mouth. Walk along the beach to volcanic sea caves. Access to Mapoutahi historic fortified headland and Purakaunui at very low tide.
  • Evansdale Glen: picnic area with small river and swimming hole with "Tarzan rope", toilets. Access from here to the Careys Creek Track.
  • Movies every Tuesday night at Waitati Film Society, corner Orokonui Rd and Harvey St, Waitati: visitors welcome.
  • Surfing and beach swimming at Warrington Beach: summer beach lifeguard patrols operate November to March weekends 12:00-17:00 plus weekdays from Christmas to the start of February.
  • Shellfish gathering: Clams (locally called "cockles") can be gathered on Blueskin Bay: access from Doctors Point or Warrington Domain where fisheries information on daily limits is posted.
  • Mountain biking: in Silverpeaks Forest, a pine plantation accessible from Double Hill Road, Waitati
  • Hiking: Silverpeaks Scenic Reserve is a large DoC area with an extensive network of tramping tracks linking Dunedin City with the surrounding mountains. Take Double Hill Road, just north of the shop on Highway One and you enter the Silverpeaks tramping tracks. Navigation and high-altitude skills required: consult Dunedin office of Department of Conservation. Low-grade mountain huts available. Access via Double Hill Road, Waitati along Green Hut Track, or from Evansdale Glen along the Careys Creek Track.


  • Blueskin Bay Library, Harvey St, Waitati, tel +64 3 482-2444. M-Th 14:00-17:30, F 10:00-12:00 and 14:00-20:00, Sa 11:00-14:00. Usual library stuff and some ancient Māori artefacts on display.
  • 1 Blueskin General Store, State Highway 1, Waitati, +64 3 482-2741. M-Sa 07:30-20:30, Su 09:00-20:00. General store stuff.
  • 2 Gallery on Blueskin, 1 Harvey St, Waitati, +64 3 482-2080. Tu-Su 10:30-16:00. Exhibitions, sales.
  • Waitati harvest market: street markets held every few weeks.
  • Blueskin A&P Society Clearing Sale: annual auction of rural farm stuff, Spring 2008 at Bland Park, Waitati
  • Blueskin Nurseries, +64 3 482-2828. Waitati's garden centre with a wide range of plants, trees and other garden products.
  • Warrington Market: at Warrington School. First Su of the month, 11:00-14:00.
  • St Barnabas Church, Coast Rd, Warrington. Services every Sunday at 09:15.
  • Blueskin Bay Cafe, Harvey St, Waitati, +64 3 482-2633. Daily 08:30-17:30. Usual cafe stuff.
  • Blueskin General Store, State Highway 1, Waitati, tel +64 3 482 2741. M-Sa 07:30-20:30, Su 09:00-20:00. Pies, sandwiches, takeaway coffee, ice creams.





Strictly "unofficial" camping and overnight parking for housebuses and vans, tolerated by local custom but not authorised, at:

  • Warrington Domain, Bay Rd, Warrington. Flushing toilets, changing sheds, summer beach patrols, children's playground
  • Evansdale Glen, off State Highway 1, Evansdale. Clean but rudimentary toilet (long-drop), large grassy area, bush walks, swimming hole.



Bed and breakfast homestay




Go next

Routes through Blueskin Bay
TimaruOamaru  N   S  Dunedin

This city travel guide to Blueskin Bay is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.