Ohau Seal Colony

Ohau Seal Colony & Ohau Stream Walkway

In which Miles meets more seals, and walks to Ohau Stream Waterfall in hopes of seeing still more playful pups.

You can view the full gallery of 15 pictures below.  To view them on imgur, click here.

Ohau Seal Colony

Just before arriving in Kakikoura, when approaching from the north along highway 1, visitors are greeted by the sights and sounds of the Ohau Seal Colony.  The Pacific coast, already beautiful for miles, is now graced with New Zealand Fur Seals and their frisky little ones.

Ohau Seal Colony
Ohau Seal Colony

There are actually several places you can stop to enjoy the view and the seals.  There are seal crossing signs along the road in this area to urge caution, as the highway is right next to the coast, and sadly, I saw a few seals that had been run over, all little ones.  But the weather was beautiful and the colony is clearly thriving.

Ohau Seal Colony
Ohau Seal Colony

The pups here have deeper pools to play in than at Wharariki Beach, and are able to swim while play-fighting with each other.  I enjoyed being able to watch the little ones swim.

Ohau Stream Walkway

Nearby, Ohau Stream Walkway tempts visitors with the chance to see seal pups playing in a pool at the base of a waterfall.  Summer isn’t the best time to see the pups apparently, and signs at the trail head provide that and other helpful info.  But it’s a short ten minute walk to the waterfall so everyone is game.

The trail starts by going under a railroad bridge.  The bush is immediately dense and lush.

Ohau Stream Walkway
Ohau Stream Walkway

The light that finds its way through the foliage creates a contrast with the shadows that I haven’t really captured in these pictures.

Ohau Stream Walkway
Ohau Stream Walkway

I find this little forest area to have a kind of magical quality.  It’s a beautiful short walk.

Ohau Stream Walkway
Ohau Stream Walkway

The trail ends in a nice little clearing with a nice little waterfall.  The pool at the base of the falls is where seal pups are often dropped off by their mothers in a sort of seal daycare, while the moms go out to fish in the ocean.  But although I visited twice, there were no little seals.  No problem, it will be a pleasure to try again.  I expect to pass through this area again soon.

Ohau Stream Waterfall
Ohau Stream Waterfall

Kaikoura is much like the Ohau area, only more and better.  It awaited me just a few minutes to the south.

You can view the full gallery of 15 pictures below.  To view them on imgur, click here.