It's our perfect summer destination - sitting under a tree on top of a huge sand dune looking out at the lake and reading a book, chatting or listening to a podcast. Plus watching the deer walking past, eagles overhead and foxes rolling in the sand. We came here on holiday (from the UK) for some 10 years and emigrated to Picton in 2012; our choice of Picton was largely based on its proximity to Sandbanks!
The great thing is that most people head to the main beaches. The dunes are very much quieter and prettier (imho). Rather than going to the main park entrance just drive down the 12 from Bloomfield but ignore the Sandbanks sign and don't turn left by the church. Instead carry straight on, and you'll find the day-use car park for the dunes on your right hand side after 2 km or so. There's a ticket machine there. And a small beach. And a summer-time cafe. Walk into the dunes for 10 minutes and you are on your own with nature.
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