World's best beaches: Allans Beach
Mapping the world's best beaches
We're searching for the world's best beaches to create a map with the help of our readers. Kieran Regan says the best beach he's even been to is right here in NZ.
As a surfer I have traveled around the entire coast of this country and others, and in my mind the best beach I have ever been to is Allans Beach on the Otago Peninsula.
The beach is over a kilometre long, built on a sand spit that has formed blocking in Hoopers Inlet.
As you drive to the beach you pass over or around the Otago Peninsula, driving the road right next to the inlet, which is surrounded by large rolling hills dotted with sheep.
The north end of the beach has a small sea lion colony and more times than not you will encounter lazing sea lions as you walk the track to the beach.
The beach is covered in white sand with a large dune system covered in pingao.
The water colour ranges from a deep green to crystal clear turquoise blue.
Up and down the beach there are usually large perfectly formed waves great for surfing, and rarely do you see another pack of surfers.
The south end of the beach is where Hoopers Inlet enters the ocean, in the small stream connecting the two. Down here you will also meet Allans Beach's resident population of yellow eyed penguins who live in the base of the surrounding hills. Every morning at dawn and evening at dusk the penguins march back and forth from the ocean to feed chicks who malt in the small penguin tunnels.
Allans Beach is so close to such a large city but so pristine and well preserved, it is where you can get a barrel with a seal, walk the beach with a penguin, then get a feed of flounder and paua all in an afternoon.
Overseas beaches are great, but there is nothing like standing on the sand in full wetsuit facing 6 foot raw southern ocean swells surrounded by classic New Zealand coastline, farm land and wildlife.
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