Doctors Point Beach

Dunedin City District

Doctors Point Beach and Caves!

A great beach with spectacular views up the coast. Some really nice arch caves you can walk through to Canoe Beach towards Mapoutahi Pa. There are yellow eyed penguins on the beach, so be careful with dogs.


From Dunedin, Drive over the northern motorway and take the right turn into Waitati. Take a left onto Pitt St, and then the first right as the road turns into Doctors Point Road. This road ends exactly where you would think it should. At the beach. Park up and explore!

Other adventures in close proximity

Helpful links

Some history for us all

The name Waitati was actually spelled Waitete, and was the name of the river that runs into the bay, Waitete means "bubbling water", and no one who has lived alongside its course would question the translation as being truly descriptive. But before the village took on the name Waitati, it went by the name Blueskin. The early settlers named it such after a well-tattooed Maori called Te Hikututu, whose nickname was Blueskin.

Many many years ago with a date unbeknown to me, a Ngai Tahu chief named Tutakahikura was visiting Southland, he fell for some wives of a Ngati Mamoe chief named Tutemakeho, and when the chief was away collecting food, he abducted the women. A long chase took place from Southland, Tutemakeho fortunately caught up with the abductor at Pae Kohu (place of frogs) on the divide between the Silverstream and the coastal valleys. It was decided by the warriors to fight the matter out in gladiator fashion at Waitete. Tutemakaho won back his wives, taking them back to Otaupiri. The other group headed back to Canterbury, without their leader.

Doctors Point was named from residential land bought in the area by a group of doctors for their seaside houses from around 1918. They also decided to buy the remaining sections near the beach and turn it into a reserve. In 1937 further sections were bought on the right of the road. For further information you can contact the Waitati Beach Reserve Society.

A rendition of the story's from lore and history of the South Island Maori and some from the ODT