Ocean Grove, New Zealand

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Location of Ocean Grove (shown by red dot) within Dunedin. The two lobes of Tomahawk Lagoon can be clearly seen.
Ocean Grove sits close to the southern shore of Tomahawk Lagoon's two lobes- the Bottom Lagoon is visible at the lower left, and the Top Lagoon can be seen behind it.

Ocean Grove, also known as Tomahawk, is a suburb in the southeast of the New Zealand city of Dunedin. A semi-rural residential suburb on the Pacific coast at the southwestern end of the Otago Peninsula, Ocean Grove is located 6.5 kilometres (4.0 mi) southeast of Dunedin city centre.

The suburb is isolated from much of the city by the bluff of Lawyer's Head, which rises immediately to the west of the suburb and the Andersons Bay Cemetery, and as such has the feel of a separate community. The suburb lies close to the banks of the Tomahawk Lagoon, a twin-lobed lagoon noted for its bird life. The inner lobe is a wildlife reserve.[1] Tomahawk Lagoon is separated from the sea at low tide by Tomahawk Beach, which runs east from the Lagoon's mouth for about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi). A smaller beach, Smaill's Beach, lies further to the east, beyond which is the outcrop of Maori Head, 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the lagoon's mouth. A rocky reef and the small Bird island lie close to the headland.

The suburb was known as Tomahawk until the 1930s,[2] the name not being a reference to the weapon, but rather possibly an anglicised form of the Māori words tomo haka, meaning "dance by a gravesite".[3] The suburb became part of Dunedin City in 1968.[4] The suburb has one main road, Tomahawk Road, which runs roughly parallel with the coast and links with the suburbs of Andersons Bay and Tainui in the west. In the east, it becomes the rural Centre Road, which climbs to the ridge at the centre of the Otago peninsula before joining with Highcliff Road, the ridge road which runs between Shiel Hill and Portobello.

Ocean Grove's most notable structures are the remains of two World War II gun emplacements. These stand close to the Jack Fox Lookout, which is at the top of the promontory which separates Tomahawk Beach from Smaill's Beach. A notable two-storey house, Glen Cairn, is located at Smaill's Beach. It is now used as the headquarters of the Tautuku Fishing Club.[5] Between Tomahawk Beach and Tomahawk Road is Tomahawk Domain and recreation ground, which serves as a sports ground and is home to Grants Braes football club.


  1. ^ Herd, J. and Griffiths, G.J. (1980) Discovering Dunedin. Dunedin: John McIndoe. ISBN 0-86868-030-3.
  2. ^ Hamel, A. (2007) Dunedin tracks and trails. Dunedin: Silver Peaks Press. ISBN 978-0-473-13772-4.
  3. ^ Reed, A. W. (1975). Place names of New Zealand. Wellington: A. H. & A. W. Reed. ISBN 0-589-00933-8. 
  4. ^ Wise's New Zealand guide: A gazetteer of New Zealand (4th ed.) (1969) Dunedin: H. Wise & Co. (N.Z.) Ltd.
  5. ^ Herd, J. and Griffiths, G.J. (1980) Discovering Dunedin. Dunedin: John McIndoe. ISBN 0-86868-030-3.

Coordinates: 45°54′12″S 170°32′52″E / 45.9033°S 170.5479°E / -45.9033; 170.5479