Red Rocks and seal colony
This easy coastal walk was one of the first ones which we made after we arrived to Wellington and explored the city and the nearest surroundings. It’s easily accessible and perfect for a sunny afternoon.
We parked our car at car park next to the visitor center close to Owhiro Bay and continued walking along the coast line. It’s possible to get to the colony by car, but definitely not with our type of car as you walk on stony and sandy ground.
This walk is quite popular, especially during sunny days, so there were many people walking or cycling and few proper 4x4 cars passed by.
Walking towards the seal colony we had a nice view of South Island mountains covered by snow on their tops and ferries rushing between Wellington and South Island.
On the way we passed Red Rocks which are actually old lava stones formed by undersea volcanic eruptions and jumped over one shallow stream which discharges from adjacent hills to the sea.
The seal colony is about an hour and half far away from car park and there is a sign pointing out the area with some safety warnings. For a while we had to stare into the rocks to recognize those gray roly-polies because they were blending with the rocks almost flawlessly. However, when we saw the first one, suddenly, there were heaps of them lying on the rocks and enjoying the sunshine. We tried to take some pictures but kept the safe distance to not to frighten them off.
The seal season is from May to October and last year we walked there at the beginning of the season and, probably, they hadn’t been there for long. But this year I was there during one weekend in July and the smell around the whole place was pretty strong. Yuck!
Nevertheless, it’s great to have such a place where you can watch those lovely creatures in the wild so close to the city within a walking distance.
Although, it’s a bit sad as well, because I’ve read that there are only males who didn’t find a female mate for the season. Hopefully, they will be more successful next year.