Sinclair Head / Te Rimurapa

Along from Red Rocks, Sinclair Head is popular for seal spotting in winter.

Sinclair Head

Location:  South coast
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Getting there:  Walk from Owhiro Bay Quarry

Suitable for:  Walks, cycling, four-wheel driving (4WD), viewing seal colony

Brief description: Sinclair Head / Te Rimurapa is a haul-out site for male New Zealand fur seals and a popular tourist attraction. Up to 150 seals come to rest and feed in winter, between May and August, and their numbers are slowly increasing. Most can be found beyond Devil’s Gate, the cutting through the headland. On Sundays, the gate is closed and the route is only open for walkers and mountain bikers.

Parking:  Owhiro Bay Quarry

Toilets and changing facilities:  Toilets at Owhiro Bay Quarry

Accessibility: Unsealed road is uneven in places

Dogs:  Dogs must be kept on a leash

Features: The walk from Owhiro Bay Quarry to Sinclair Head takes about an hour, following a coastal four-wheel-drive track. The track passes Red Rocks and two small groups of historic baches dating from the early 1900s.

History: This area is an old Māori settlement site - rimurapa is the Māori name for the giant bull kelp found on the south coast. Ngati Mamoe lived here, and Ngati Waiponga of Te Atiawa occupied the area in the 1830s. Sinclair Head was classified as Māori Reserve until the Crown took the point under the Public Works Act for defence purposes. The remains of a WWII observation post can be found on the headland.