Nothing screams SPRING like babies! Especially the roly-poly kind I recently got to see up close and personal on the South Island of New Zealand. North of Kaikoura, New Zealand on Hwy 1, the Ohau Stream walk is a hidden gem. Take the easy 10-minute trail to see baby seals splashing around in a fresh water stream that leads to the ocean. Follow the trail all the end to the waterfall. Check out the simply, amazing ‘seal world’ phenomenon (please excuse the rookie video, I did this one, all are other fancy ones are done by Lindsay!):
Like baby seal day care, hundreds of seals leap, swirl and slide around in a pool fed by a raging waterfall. Because they’re so used to humans, they might come right up and stick their noses on your camera lens.
The best part about it this magical baby sighting is it’s free. No wristbands, no guardrails, no security. It just you and the seals, hiking together (yes, these seals really hike steep inclines) in the forest!
More Facts on Ohau Stream Walk
- The best time to come see these seal pups is between May and October when hundreds of seals can be seen hanging out along the stream and at the waterfall.
- Most of the seal pups found here were born during Nov and Dec and make their way up the Ohau stream to a waterfall pool in mid April.
- Every few days, the momma seal hikes up from the ocean, roughly half way, bellows and her baby comes down to meet her for a feeding.
- Located on private land, the landowners work together with the Department of Conservation to allow people to come up and see this amazing phenomenon.
- The fur seals found here are unique to New Zealand and were once nearly wiped out by sealers selling them for food and their pelts.
- The current population is estimated to be around 15% of the original.