Sinclair Heads Seal Colony Walk

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Sinclair Fur seals Colony is just a short 45 minute drive from down town Wellington. Spot the fur seals while looking across the Cook Strait to the tip of the South island

Quick Facts

        • Location: Southern end of the North Island – Wellington
        • Distance: 3.70 kms
        • Time needed: 50 Minutes
        • Difficulty: Easy
        • Wheelchair Access: No
        • Route: Round Trip
        • Elevation: 1m
        • Wet Feet: No
        • Toilets: No
        • Dogs: Leash only
        • Mobile Coverage: Yes
        • Last Updated: November, 2019
  • Track Highlights

    Fur Seals and lovely ocean views.

  • Track Quality

    Sand, rock and stones, 4 wheel drive track. Watch out for the cold, strong Southey winds.

  • Hazards

    Seals that bite and smell.

  • Transport

    Buses run out to Owhiro Bay every day leaving you with an (1.2Ks) walk.

  • Water


  • Driving Instructions

    The easiest way is get on to Taranaki St. Taranaki St is the last street running inland just before Te Papa Museum. That is, if you are driving along the Quay from the train station. There are nine sets of traffic lights along the way. At (1.3Ks) the 8th set of lights, the road turns slightly to the left, drops down hill into a sharp left hander then stops at the 9th set of lights. (2.2Ks) Turn hard right on to Adelaide Rd. Adelaide Rd follows in to The Parade at (6.5Ks) you will drive in to Island Bay. Turn Right. Drive along the Esplanade, the coast lane must be on your left at all times. Keep to your left at Owhiro Bay Junction. At 8.8Ks your car should have fallen into a number of rather large pot holes, STOP. If you happen to be driving a 4X4 don’t stop. You can drive the (3.7Ks) unless today is Sunday, the gate will be locked??? Oh No, just as well you bought in the mountain bikes!

  • Area & Track History

    The male fur seals call into the heads from May to August to try and gain condition and build up their body weight. Weighing in at an average of 160kgs, I would not get in their way.

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

  • Map location of Sinclair Heads Seal Colony Walk

    Map of walk

Points of interest along the walk

In the map above, if you zoom in on the walk, you’ll see all the following track points and their location. Each point has photos along with a description about each one.

Point 1: Sinclair Heads Seal Colony Walk – Start

There is no way you can lose your way on this walk. You will be walking, driving or mountain biking within 20m of the shore line all the way to the seals. The quarry must have been a substantial operation in is day, the locals must have complained to the council about the noise and the dust, as they do after they build their house next to the Quarry.

Point 2: Sinclair Heads Seal Colony Walk

These guys have got the right setting, no rowdy neighbours. Fresh fish at the front door and the supermarket just around the corner if you can’t catch that fish for dinner. Is the batch for sale?

Point 3: Sinclair Heads Seal Colony Walk

No, this spot is not 100ks from Wellington city, would you believe 10ks from down town café Wellington.

Point 4: Sinclair Heads Seal Colony Walk

Devils Gate. If you can smell the seals, but did not see one, walk through devils gate, the seals are a dime a dozen on the other side. Be careful if this is a weekend walk for you. The 4X4 boys might not see you as they roar through devils Gate. The seals are not so scary in this colony, you can get in close with the camera, just watch where you put your feet, there could be a seal with sharp teeth waiting behind every rock. Don’t worry about being eaten by a seal; The stomach-turning smell will kill you before the seals do. If you have time up your sleeve, you can walk a further (8Ks) up the coast.

All walks in Wellington…

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