Bachelor Seals at Red Rocks

27 June 2011

If the weather's looking good - why not stroll or cycle to Sinclair Head to see the seals? Young male fur seals are in town for their winter break - they generally holiday for about three months on our coastline every year.

The coastal walk to see the seals has beautiful views

The coastal walk to see the seals has beautiful views

Sinclair Head - near Red Rocks - is a seal haulout (resting place) for bachelor seals who have been excluded from mating by a dominant male. But even though they're not getting any action this year, they seem to have a good time sunning themselves on the rocks.

Make sure to keep your eyes peeled as you're walking around - the seals are quite camouflaged among the rocks and sometimes you'll see them swimming. On a good day, you'll also get views of snowy South Island peaks.

 Senior Park Ranger Steve Peters says about 30 rejected seals have arrived so far but it's likely about 100 more will arrive over the next couple of months.

"They also hang out around the South Coast towards Makara and on the Wairarapa Coast but Red Rocks is an easy place to get to," he says.

All you need to do is take the coastal walk through the Te Kopahou Reserve - it's about a two-hour round trip from the information centre at the far end of Owhiro Bay. Most of the seals can be found at Sinclair Head, the rocky point beyond the Red Rocks.

We recommend that you wear good walking shoes, leave the dog at home and keep a safe distance from the seals.