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Otago region


Otago’s 480 kilometre coastline is diverse and beautiful. In the north, the cobble beaches of the Waitaki Fan reach south to points where alternating cliff headlands and sandy beaches predominate, interrupted by the ancient Dunedin Volcano, now Otago Harbour.

Large rivers like the Waitaki and Clutha/Mata-Au and the many small rivers of the Catlins coast drain the high inland plateau. Many of the rivers form estuarine wetlands of significant importance to both marine and freshwater wildlife.

Lowland hills rolling down to the surf provide access points, and historic lighthouses on craggy outcrops attract sightseers. Surfers, fishermen, boaties, horse riders, walkers, and runners enjoy their pastimes on the long beaches.

As part of ORC's contact recreation monitoring programme, six coastal sites are tested on a weekly basis (between the beginning of December and the end of March).


Monitored beaches in the Otago region

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