Tauranga Bay Seal Colony

Lonely Planet review

Depending on the season, anything from 20 to 200 NZ fur seals dot the rocks at this seal colony, 16km from Westport. Pups are born from late November to early December.

The Cape Foulwind Walkway (1½ hours return) extends from the seal colony near its southern end, 4km along the coast to Cape Foulwind, passing a replica of Abel Tasman’s astrolabe (a navigational aid) and a lighthouse. The walk’s northern end is car-accessible from Lighthouse Rd.

The Maori called the cape Tauranga, meaning ‘Sheltered Anchorage’. The first European here was Abel Tasman in December 1642; he named it Clyppygen Hoek (Rocky Point). When James Cook moored the Endeavour here in March 1770, a furious storm made it anything but a ‘sheltered anchorage’, hence Cape Foulwind's modern name.