Beaches, lakes & coastline

Tauranga Bay Fur Seal Colony

Directions

About

A short walk with spectacular ocean views, steeple rocks, and a large year-round fur seal colony.

Price

Free

More information

One of New Zealand’s most accessible seal colonies can be found just out of Westport on the edge of Tauranga Bay.

The best time to view is October to March when the bull seals return to mate and the pups are at their most playful.

About the tracks

The 10 -minute track from the car park is suitable for wheelchairs and leads to viewing platforms directly overlooking the colony.

The full track on to Cape Foulwind takes 1.5 hours (3 hours return) and is well graded as it crosses rocky granite bluffs, grassy downs, swampy streams and sandy beaches.

The walk offers panoramic views of the cape and rugged coastline including rock stacks and steeples. A side track leads to Cape Foulwind lighthouse.

Facilities

If you have non-walkers in your group, get them to drop you at the Lighthouse end, and send them to the superb café at Tauranga Bay, where you can meet them later.

Or if you’ve got some surfing enthusiasts in your group, some of the best surfing on the Coast is right here, at the café end of Tauranga Bay.

The café used to be the Surf Club.

How it got its name

Several of our early explorers have had fun naming Cape Foulwind.

In 1642 Abel Tasman the Dutch navigator called it Clyppygen Hoeck (Rocky Corner); Captain Cook an early English explorer, less than impressed with the wind which prevented him from landing, called it FoulWind.

In 1827 the French Dumont Durville called it Les Trois Cloches (the Three Steeples).

Directions

Coast Rd, Cape Foulwind, West Coast, NZ

From Westport, cross the Buller River Bridge and continue on to the road to the airport, Carters Beach, and Tauranga Bay. Look out for the Holcim Cement Plant about 11kms from Westport. You can do the walk from the Lighthouse end to the Tauranga Bay Seal Colony carpark, or vice versa. The Lighthouse Road is a right turn just past the Cement Works. For Tauranga Bay and the Seal Colony, keep left and follow the signs to the Coast. The walk is one-way and you will need to arrange transport at the track end or return along the same walkway.

Get directions

Related Listings

Westport and Karamea
Accommodation
Rough and Tumble Bush Lodge Rough and Tumble Bush Lodge

Accommodation and dining at the top of The Old Ghost Road on the West Coast of New Zealand.

$230
Learn more
Westport and Karamea
Accommodation
Buller Court Motel Buller Court on Palmerston

Ray and Diana offer you a very special stay at Buller Court Motel, our Host Accommodation motel in Westport, on the west coast of the Southern Alps.

$150 - $200
Learn more
Westport and Karamea
Towns, Places & Info centres
Art Deco Westport - Charles Bruning Westport

Westport is a coastal township located near the mouth of the Buller River and is the gateway to the northern part of the West Coast.

Learn more
Westport and Karamea
Accommodation
Lyell campsite Lyell Campsite

The site of the historic gold-rush town of Lyell, this large, grassed campsite is easily accessible.

$4 - $8 per night.
Learn more
Westport and Karamea
See & Do
Nikau Walk Kohaihai / Karamea Walks

Walks in the Karamea and Kohaihai area in northern West Coast New Zealand.

Learn more
Westport and Karamea
Accommodation
Westport Motor Hotel Westport Motor Hotel

The Westport Motor Hotel is a leading accommodation provider in Westport with 27 studio units, onsite restaurant and bar.

$115 - $129
Learn more