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Blueskin Bay

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Blueskin Bay

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Blueskin Bay [2] is in Otago, New Zealand, just north of Dunedin.


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, 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. 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. There is an unusually large proportion of Germans in Waitati.

Other destinations[edit]

25km north of Dunedin, 25km south of Palmerston 350km south of Christchurch.

Get in[edit]

By bus from Christchurch[edit]

The Christchurch-Dunedin highway bus transport services operated by InterCity [3], Atomic, Knight Rider and others 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 at present.

By bus from Dunedin[edit]

  • Dunedin-Palmerston bus service provided by the Otago Regional Council [4] and operated on their behalf by Palmerston Minibus Services serves Waitati and Evansdale on State Highway One: reservations +64-3-465 1229 or 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[edit]

There is no longer a train service from Christchurch. The "Seasider" scenic train [5], tel +64-3-477 4449, operates twice weekly over the summer from Dunedin to Palmerston and back, and can be requested to stop enroute by arrangement.

Get around[edit]

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

See[edit][add listing]

  • Orokonui Ecosanctuary, (Entrance from Blueskin Road, between Waitati and Port Chalmers.), (03) 482 1755, [1]. A nature reserve being restored to its pre-human ecosystem. The 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 Eucalypt introduced from Australia, is now enclosed by the Ecosanctuary. Opening in 2008 it will include a shop and cafe.  edit
  • 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.
  • Habode: an open show home, on display adjacent to Blueskin Bay Hotel, Evansdale tel 03 974 6115
  • 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.


  • Blueskin Bay Library, Harvey St, Waitati tel +64-3-482 2444. Open Monday to Thursday 2.00pm - 5.30pm; Friday 10.00am - 12.00pm and 2.00pm - 8.00pm; Saturday 11.00am - 2.00pm. Usual library stuff and some ancient Maori artifacts on display.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Blueskin General Store, State Highway One, Waitati, +64-3-482 2741. 7:30am-8:30pm Mon-Sat, 9:00am-8:00pm Sundays. General Store stuff.  edit
  • Gallery on Blueskin: Exhibitions, sales. 1 Harvey St, Waitati Tues-sun 10.30-4 tel 482 2080
  • Classic Collectables, at the Blueskin Bay Hotel, State Highway One, Evansdale: Antiques, collectibles, coloured glass, vinyl records. Open daily tel +64-3-4822836, after hours +64-3-482 2892.
  • Crack Pots: great big cement pots for your garden, collectibles. Occasionally open at the Blueskin Bay Hotel, Evansdale.
  • Waitati market: street markets held on Saturdays every few weeks.
  • Blueskin A&P Society Clearing Sale: annual auction of rural farm stuff, Spring 2008 at Bland Park, Waitati
  • Blueskin Nurseries: Waitati's garden centre with a wide range of plants, trees and other garden products. (03) 482-2828
  • St Barnabas Church, Coast Rd, Warrington. Services every Sunday at 9.15am

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Surfing and beach swimming at Warrington Beach: summer beach patrols operate October to March weekends 12-5pm, 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.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Blueskin Bay Cafe, Harvey St, Waitati, +64-3-482 2633. 8:30am-5:30pm, 7days. Usual Cafe stuff.  edit
  • Blueskin General Store, State Highway One, Waitati: 7:30am-8:30pm Mon-Sat, 9:00am-8:00pm Sundays, tel +64-3-482 2741. Pies, sandwiches, takeaway coffee, ice creams.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Bed and Breakfast home-stay accommodation[edit]

  • Arden House Bed and Breakfast, State Highway One/Waitati Valley Road corner, Waitati, +64-3-482 2040.  edit


Strictly "unofficial" camping and overnight parking for house-buses and vans, tolerated by local custom but not authorized, at:

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

Get out[edit]

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