Sunday, July 22, 2012

Red Rocks Seal Colony, Wellington

Yesterday (Sunday) I went for a walk over to the seal colony at Red Rocks.  The actual coastal track is about a nice hour's amble each way, stopping to look at scenery, pat dogs, and talk to people.  It's completely flat except for a minute or two up a bit of an incline (see photo).  There is a wide-ish stream to cross when you get within a few minutes of the seal colony.  You used to have to spend ages hunting for a place to tippy-toe or jump across but now there is a plank of wood there to act as a bridge - it's at the hill end of the stream.

The track used to be a nice place to walk, but the actual walking is not enjoyable anymore so I don't know if I really want to do it again .  Over the years parts of the track have dropped and the holes and crevices have been filled with pebbles and stones.  Most of the track is now pebbles and stones and it's very hard on the feet.  I've finally worked out the difference between hiking and walking.  When you hike, you're continually looking down at your feet in case you trip over a root or a rock.

The seals come in to the colony from roughly about June to end of August.  They always seem to be snoozing.
When a seal coughs, they sound just like a human, and first I thought it was a guy who was standing beside me.  The cough is really eerie.
Best to do the walk on a Sunday when no cars are allowed there, and there are always loads of people.  Even without seeing the seals, it's a lovely populated Sunday walk. 
On other days four wheel drives or the seal colony bus tour are your best bets.
If you don't have a car, I  think there's a bus that takes you to Owhiro Bay, then you could walk to the entrance of the track which would maybe take about 20 minutes.  Or take a bus to Island Bay terminus and walk along the coast (pop in to the cafe that's half-way to Owhiro Bay - it's the 'in' place for Sunday brunch).  This walk will be, maybe 40 minutes to the entrance from Island Bay bus terminus.  You could always ring for a taxi at a any geographical point.

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