“There will be seals,” Daniel said.
If he can’t bribe me with food to come along on the walks, animals in the wild are the next best thing. (Except if it’s a gang of cows, of course.) The Red Rocks Reserve is a walk that goes along the rugged Wellington coast from Owhiro Bay, which is located in the southern part of Wellington.
As a Florida native, I grew up near the beach and oddly enough I’ve never enjoyed my time sitting on one. You sweat, you get burnt, and sand gets in inappropriate places. Needless to say, I’m usually not impressed or mesmerized by beaches like others are so often are.
But then I came to New Zealand, and this country knows how to do beaches. There’s no expectations of wearing a bikini on these shores. Probably because there’s no sand.
It’s appropriately named the Red Rocks Walkway due to the unusual rock color that lines the beach. Sorry, but it’s a little hard to take a good photo of rocks.
The rocks were created by lava that over millions of years has been pushed up to the surface due to tectonic movement. I only wrote this sentence to use the term “tectonic movement” which makes me sound incredibly smart.
In Maori mythology, the red rocks found their color when Kupe (the mythological discoverer of the country) cut his hand while fishing. His blood staining the rocks.
Daniel kept his promise. We spotted our first wild seal.
Then we spotted a pod of seals.
Sinclair Head is a place many male fur-seals call home in the winter months between May and August. They seem to spend the majority of their time sunning themselves on the rocks. This was the only time we’ve seen seals in “the wild” and there were hundreds… all doing this, basically:
There are signs posted that read you can’t get too close to the seals or they may attack you. Although it’s hard to believe since they seem so lazy.
There were plenty of rocks to
precariously perch take a rest on and admire the South Island in the distance.
On Sundays, the track is only open for walkers and mountain bikers. Every other day, however, the track can be shared with four-wheel-drive vehicles, which I imagine is a bit annoying.
Due to the height of the cliffs, even on a sunny day the sun might be blocked out throwing much of the walk into shadow. It can get a little chilly (and windy!) so if you head along after reading this, take a jacket!
No coastal hike is complete without getting a really large stick and pretending you’re a wizard.