Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – New Zealand chapter Dunedin - Otago has to say about Allans Beach:
“The peninsula’s coastal and farmland walk-ways offer stunning views and the chance to see wildlife on your own. Pick up a free copy of the detailed Otago Peninsula Tracks from the Dunedin i-SITE.
Sea lions are most easily seen on a tour, but are regularly present at Sandfly Bay, Allans and Victory Beaches. They are predominantly bachelor males vacationing from Campbell Island or the Auckland Islands. Give them plenty of space, as they can really motor over the first 20 metres.’
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
We had really done enough reading about the Otago Peninsula in our guidebook, because if we had, we might have added Allans Beach to our plans for the day. As it was, we stopped for a light lunch in Portobello and I struck up a conversation with our attentive waitress. She happened to mention Allans Beach, and said it wasn’t to be missed.
We found the parking area quite easily and I was delighted with the old-fashioned style we had to clamber over to reach the pathway to the beach. Signs warned us that we were crossing private farmland. We couldn’t see the beach as we neared the water, so it was a stunning surprise to see how vast it was, and that we were absolutely alone when we arrived.
The only evidence that we weren’t the first humans there that day was the presence of long lines of footprints in the sand, heading off to the right. We walked in the same direction, enjoying the fresh sea breezes and turned back after about twenty minutes. We were almost back where we started when we noticed a sea lion emerging from the waves; he made his way halfway up the beach and began rolling in the sand, scratching an itch on his back perhaps.
A few other people had arrived during our walk, and everyone kept their distance and gave the sea lion the respect he deserved. We decided to head back to our car and as we turned to leave, the sea lion raised his left flipper and seemed to be waving goodbye to us. As we retraced our steps through the farmer’s field, we met a couple of families just arriving for a late afternoon picnic at the beach. We had enjoyed having the place to ourselves, time to head back to Dunedin.