Between May and October you can see plenty of fur seals in Wellington at the Red Rocks Reserve. You will either need to drive out here or catch a bus to the reserve. The gravel road to Sinclair Head where the fur seals can be found is only suitable for 4×4 vehicles. There is a car park at Owhiro Bay where most people park and then walk along the coast from there. It’s not a difficult walk with mostly flat terrain so most people wouldn’t have any trouble.
About the Walk:
The one-way path to Sinclair Head looks out across the Cook Strait to the tip of the South Island. It’s about 4km each way along the beach/ unsealed gravel road. About halfway to the fur seal colony you will come across the ‘Red Rocks’ pictured below.
Fur Seals at Sinclair Head:
You will likely smell the fur seals before you see them. When we arrived, there were a few before we went through Devils Gate, which you can see below. However the large majority of the fur seals are on the other side of this hill. Walk over and you’ll be greeted by dozens of the fur seals. It’s only the male seals that were unsuccessful in finding a mate that come to rest here for the winter season.
Make sure to keep a safe distance from them and be careful. What may look like a rock at first glance could actually be a fur seal. They are incredibly photogenic animals and you are sure to get some good shots of them. Here’s a few of my favourites that I captured.
The fur seals here in Wellington are pretty lazy and won’t bat much of an eyelid at your presence. So long as you don’t get too close or cause disruption. This was one of my favourite things I did during my time in Wellington. The chance to see these animals in their natural environment was amazing and unforgettable. If you’re visiting Wellington whilst in New Zealand then I highly recommend a trip out to the Red Rocks Reserve to see these beauties.
More information about the fur seals at the Red Rocks Reserve in Wellington can be found here.