Oreti Beach

By Caitlin Lynch

One of the Southern most points in New Zealand, Oreti beach lies at the edge of the Foveaux Strait, and is a ten-minute drive from Invercargill township. The flat sandy beach stretches 26km and is one of the few beaches in the country that permits vehicle access.

In the mid-20th century, Oreti beach was the training ground of famous motor cycle racer, Burt Munro. Munro broke (and still holds) the world Indian motorcycle speed record in 1967. In 2005, Rodger Donaldson directed a biopic about Munro, titled 'The worlds fastest Indian'. Oreti beach, with its stretching dunes and epic sunsets is a key star of the film (alongside Sir Anthony Hopkins). 

Today people still enjoy the beach’s vehicle access, and it is a popular location for blo-karting.

Oreti Beach also has the South Island's most significant population of toheroa clams but the population has diminished in recent years, despite a ban on harvesting. 

When, on 15 January 2018, Invercargill recorded it's hottest ever temperature of 32 degrees, Oreti Beach, normally rather chilly, was the destination for overheated Southlanders. 

Burt Munro: The Lost Interviews Franklin's Indians: Irish motorcycle racer Charles B Franklin, designer of the Indian Chief One Good Run: The Legend of Burt Munro

Image Credit: Verodemortillet Wikimedia Commons