Seals at Red Rocks

28 June 2010

Young male fur seals are back for their winter break in the Capital. The seals have started arriving at Red Rocks for their annual rest and recreation.

Fur seals at Red Rocks

Fur seals at Red Rocks

Red Rocks is a seal haulout (resting place) on the South Coast for bachelor seals who have been excluded from mating by a dominant male. But they make the best of things by sunning themselves on the rocks.

Senior Park Ranger Steve Peters says the seals arrive at the start of winter and stay about three months. So far about 50 of them have arrived and there can be up to 150. The seals also take up residence further around the South Coast towards Makara and on the Wairarapa Coast.

Red Rocks is an easy place to see them and Wellingtonians can take the Red Rocks coastal walk through the Te Kopahou Reserve. It is about a two-hour round trip from the information centre at Owhiro Bay.

Steve says there is access for four-wheel drive vehicles along a gravel road.

"If people are walking they should wear good walking shoes, leave the dog at home and keep a safe distance from the seals."