Oreti Beach was Burt Munro's race track - a 26 kilometre stretch of perfectly smooth sand.

Ten kilometres west of Invercargill, Oreti Beach was a key location for the film 'The World's Fastest Indian', which tells the story of Southland's motorcycling hero Burt Munro. At around 26 kilometres in length, the beach provided Munro with a testing and racing site for his modified Indian motorcycle. In February 1957 Munro set a New Zealand Open Beach record of 131.38 mph at Oreti Beach; in 1975 he raised this to 136 mph.

At the southern end of Oreti Beach is Sandy Point, a natural playground for walking, mountain biking and horse riding. In geological terms, Sandy Point is very young. The peninsula of sand, gravel and water-borne silt probably appeared some 4000-5000 years ago, when sea levels were higher. Long before the site of Invercargill was developed, the rich natural resources of Sandy Point supported an important Maori settlement called Oue. The arrival of sealers and whalers brought change, although the whaling station established there in 1836 was short-lived. Sandy Point's ancient sand dune forest of wind-sculpted totara and matai is rare and nationally important. Other native podocarps include rimu, miro and kahikatea. Native forest walks reveal a rich wildlife community from the shaded, ferny floor upwards.

plane Find & book flights

Next on your journey