Shag Point Scenic Reserve

Holiday Travel Guide
Shag Point Scenic Reserve featuring rugged coastline and marine life

Thousands visit the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island each year for its diverse marine life. This area near Oamaru is an exceptional observation spot.

Visit the Shag Point Scenic Reserve for a prime penguin-viewing area, a chance to see a colony of fur seals and some of the best cliff-top views in the North Otago area. Discover the rich Māori history of the Shag Point area. Watch for alpine flora, common here despite the reserve’s proximity to the coast. A day’s exploration around the point will reveal sacred burial grounds, a lovely river mouth and peaceful picnic grounds.

The Shag Point Scenic Reserve is just a short detour from the coastal highway that runs between Dunedin and Oamaru. Make the side trip for a short and rewarding visit or pack a picnic lunch and visit the Shag Point region for the day. Combine your trip to the reserve with a stop at the nearby Moeraki Lighthouse.

Wake before dawn to watch as penguins leave their nests in search of food or visit at sunset to see them return. The yellow-eyed penguin is an endangered species characterised by the band of yellow feathers that surrounds its eyes. Arrive mid-afternoon to see fur seals basking in the sun. Wander along the beach to photograph the playful creatures, but stay at least 25 metres (80 feet) away. Scaring either animal can cause abandonment from the colony. Seals have also been known to be aggressive. While they are less dangerous than the sea lions also found in the area, they do have the ability to cause harm.

Read about the local Māori history on information boards located within the reserve. Shag’s Point is the site of sacred burial grounds and is of the highest importance for the indigenous people. The reserve was also the location of an archaeological dig that returned the fossil of a 7-metre (23-foot) marine reptile.

Reach Shag’s Point Scenic Reserve in 30 minutes by car from Oamaru. It is located about 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of the city. Parking is available on-site and admission is free.

125 Cheap Hotels Near Shag Point Scenic Reserve

Moeraki Cottage overlooking the ocean in the Moeraki Village
Moeraki Cottage overlooking the ocean in the Moeraki Village
24 Tenby St, Moeraki, Otago
Situated in Moeraki, this holiday home is within 3 miles (5 km) of Moeraki Boulders, Moeraki Lighthouse and Hampden Beach. Shag Point Scenic Reserve is 9 mi ...
3.6/5 Good! (5 reviews)
Peaceful place
"Very nice beach cottage, close to the beach. Really enjoyed our time there Thanks"

Reviewed on 29 Mar. 2021

Moeraki Cottage overlooking the ocean in the Moeraki Village
The Bird Hide - rustic luxury by the water
The Bird Hide - rustic luxury by the water
10 Scotia St, Waikouaiti, Otago
Situated on the waterfront, this historic bed & breakfast is 13 mi (20.9 km) from Warrington Beach and within 25 miles (40 km) of University of Otago and Shag ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (18 reviews)
Peacefull
"Amazing location with a beautiful sunrise over the lagoon. The cabin with its little wooden burner creates the perfect atmosphere to enjoy the stay. The host is very friendly and helpfull and makes you feel at home. 100% recommend and will come back soon."

Reviewed on 17 Jan. 2022

The Bird Hide - rustic luxury by the water
The Pink Pipi Karitane
The Pink Pipi Karitane
77 Coast Rd, Karitane, Karitane, Otago
This family-friendly Karitane holiday home is located on the waterfront, 7.9 mi (12.8 km) from Warrington Beach, and within 25 mi (40 km) of Dunedin Botanic ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (65 reviews)
Historic estuary perfection
"No frills, very comfortable historic cottage; excellent kitchen & bathroom; great canoe access to estuary. Online photos would benefit with one of the front living room, it's a selling point. Main bed mattress has sags."

Reviewed on 12 Jan. 2022

The Pink Pipi Karitane
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Shag Point Scenic Reserve

Shag Point Scenic Reserve

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Top Shag Point Scenic Reserve Hotel & Accommodation Deals

Moeraki Cottage overlooking the ocean in the Moeraki Village
Moeraki Cottage overlooking the ocean in the Moeraki Village
24 Tenby St, Moeraki, Otago
Moeraki Cottage overlooking the ocean in the Moeraki Village
The Bird Hide - rustic luxury by the water
The Bird Hide - rustic luxury by the water
10 Scotia St, Waikouaiti, Otago
The Bird Hide - rustic luxury by the water
The Pink Pipi Karitane
The Pink Pipi Karitane
77 Coast Rd, Karitane, Karitane, Otago
The Pink Pipi Karitane
Cloud 9 Retreat - Karitane - Absolute Beachfront Holiday Home
Cloud 9 Retreat - Karitane - Absolute Beachfront Holiday Home
26 Seaforth Street, Karitane, Otago
Cloud 9 Retreat - Karitane - Absolute Beachfront Holiday Home
Sea Breeze Sanctuary - Karitane Holiday Home
Sea Breeze Sanctuary - Karitane Holiday Home
1269 Coast Road, Karitane, Otago
Sea Breeze Sanctuary - Karitane Holiday Home
The Lookout
The Lookout
3.5 out of 5
18 Parata Avenue, Karitane
The Lookout
Karitane Beach Retreat - Karitane Holiday Home
Karitane Beach Retreat - Karitane Holiday Home
14 - 16, Parata Avenue, Karitane, Otago
Karitane Beach Retreat - Karitane Holiday Home
The Mill House
The Mill House
3 out of 5
2358 Herbert-Hampden Road, Herbert
The Mill House
Stunning coastal views in a movie like setting
Stunning coastal views in a movie like setting
Stunning coastal views in a movie like setting
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.