Cape Foulwind Seal Colony, Westport
(4.5/5 based on 300+ reviews on the web)
Despite its odious name, Cape Foulwind Seal Colony remains an ideal place for close encounters with kekeno--the New Zealand's fur seals. Whales are also slowly making a comeback in the area, after a whaling station on the cape diminished their numbers in the past. Access the colony via a walkway, which crosses undulating farmland and continues northward along the scenic coastal bluffs to a lighthouse. You will find lots of information panels along the way, describing historic sea voyages, explorers, timbermills, and quarries. Plan to see Cape Foulwind Seal Colony and other attractions that appeal to you using our Westport itinerary planner.
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TripAdvisor
  • Not as many seals as you will see on the opposite coast around Kaikoura, but easily accessible and a good place for a short stop. Not a lot around in November - you will see more in a few months. Acce...  more »
  • After the bad time is said that the name of this landform was imposed on it by the Navigator James Cook, when in one of his trips approached the coast with his ship Endeavour and witnessed first-hand the strength of the winds and storms that whipped the coast of the South Island in these latitudes. His words referred to it as "after the time of dogs", what comes to give us an idea of the storms each winter to shake the place. Not bad, a little cloudy weather caught us but with patches of Sun from time to time which allowed us to enjoy the natural spectacle that we offered the spot. On the one hand, and after leaving the caravan parking, opens a wide beach of white sand that triples its expansion since the slope is almost nil at low tide. By a road between reeds, built with a perfect succession of wooden walkways, we arrived after that opens before us offering us a perfect view of a large rock inhabited by seals which here found the perfect place to establish their habitat, safe for humans and with an abundant food pantry two steps away from their breeding and resting places. Very different from those times that were hunted by the Maori, which depended on 80% of its meat, fat and their skins. And more still of uncontrolled hunting suffered with the arrival of the white man, who fortunately was devoted to other purposes such as livestock or the extraction of gold just before the species was extinct. Many animals have found here their refuge, as albatrosses, gulls, orcas, dolphins and whales on their migratory travels, or the trusted weka, that kind of mixture between chicken and kiwi who walks in front of us as if we knew of a lifetime. Aside from its ecological value, Cape Foulwind also has historic value, with its beach of Tauranga was unavoidable passage in the middle of the 19TH century, and was even used as a point of embarkation and disembarkation of goods and people to work in the goldfields, metal which was also embarked on these lares to transport it to faraway England. A signpost marks the distances to other populations of New Zealand and major capitals of the world and the picture here, of course, is inevitable. We could not reach the lighthouse, since the distance was substantial and we had to continue our journey. It was the first time that we saw seals from as close in their natural habitat, although a few days later so we would make much more closely, away from the infernal and windy, but charming Cape Foulwind.
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  • it was a bit of a walk for us with a toddler but it was worth it. You can see the seals even though they are quite far away.