The panorama of coastline, forests and this unforested, 7km thread of golden sand snaking south into Russia is unforgettable. Make sure you don't stray from the wooden boardwalk as the dune is very fragile. At the bottom of the flight of 180 steps, two photographs are displayed – one taken in 1960, the other in 2002. The difference in dune height – 20m in 40 years – is a warning to those keen to romp in the sand.
Park authorities have left the smashed remains of the granite sundial that stood 12m tall on the 52m dune peak until 1999, when a hurricane sent it crashing to the ground as a symbol of ‘nature’s uncontrollable forces’ – another warning to wannabe sand rompers.