Let’s Watch Seals In Red Rocks Reserve – 30min From Wellington By Car

sn-redrocks New Zealnd

About 30 minutes’ drive to south from Wellington CBD, you can watch a mountain of wild seals. The Red Rocks Reserve is a geologically important place, and as its name, you can see red rocks, which is one of the good things here!

This time, I will provide you with local information along with directions on the Red Rocks Reserve!

「Red Rocks Reserve is located along the sea in south of Wellington

What is Red Rocks Reserve?

As the name, the Red Rocks Reserve is a tourist spot lined with red rocks.
From the Te Kopahou Visitor Center in Owhiro Bay, walk along the coastline and you’ll see a red rocky area.

Red Rocks

It seems to be a nationally important place in Maori history and geology.
There are various theories about this red colored rocks, and there seem to be two legends as follows. Both have a common point in that they are stained with blood, and いit may mean something wired happen here.

Maori folklore tells two stories relating to the colour of the rocks. In one, Kupe – the famous Polynesian explorer – was gathering paua (shellfish) here when one clamped his hand. He bled and stained the rocks red. In the other story, the red is the blood of Kupe’s daughters. Fearing for their father’s safety on a long voyage, they gashed themselves in grief over his absence.


However, besides that, it is also famous as a wild seal colony!

Getting There

You can visit here by bus but it doesn’t look like convenience

Getting there

– You can catch bus number 1 to Island Bay and get off at the last stop and walk around the coast via the Bach Cafe and Owhiro Bay Parade. This adds a 2 kilometre walk before the start of the walkway.
– There are buses to Happy Valley, number 4, during the week which take you closer, as does the Southern Shopper bus (number 29) which takes an awkward route from the Hospital.
– There are no buses to Happy Valley / Owhiro Bay in the weekends, before 7am or after 7pm.


In New Zealand, but not only for here, I strongly recommend renting a car rather than using public transportation.

In the case of a rental car, we will first aim at a place called Te Kopahou Visitor Center in Owhiro Bay. By car, it takes about 20 minutes from Wellington CBD to here.

There is a parking and you will walk to the Red Rocks Reserve from here except for authorized cars. It depends on the condition of the landslide, but there are times when you can enter a 4WD car.

At this Te Kopahou Visitor Centre, you will be introduced to what kind of geological place it is.

In addition, the parking space here has a space for camper vans and is a place where you can stay for free.

In front of the visitor center there is a small container café where we started our walk with a cup of coffee.

At the yellow container run cafe
Happy phrase always makes you smile and feel happy

Walk to Red Rocks and Seals

It takes about 40 minutes by walking from the visitor center to Red Rocks.
When I actually walked, the view was good because I walked along the sea, and it was not so painful.

There is a gravel road along the way, and there are many abalone shells falling there.
Polishing the shells of abalone can make the rainbow-colored shells and accessories that are often found in souvenir shops, so you may want to take it home and polish it.

From where you can see the Red Rocks, another 10 minutes walk leads you to the Devil’s Gate.

The clerk of the cafe said that the name derives from the steep slope.
It’s hard to see in the photo, but I don’t want to get over this slope by car.


She says that when you drive over here, it seems that you need to pull it from the other side. The moment you reach the top, it seems that you are very scared to drive because it is a steep hill.

A seal begins to appear 100 meters before this Devil’s Gate.

So Cute Wild Seals

The long-awaited wild seal!
I will not express it in words, so I will post some photos.

Babies of Seals
Seals are laying down everywhere!
You may see the borne of seal alling there sometimes.
They look sleeping very comfortable

Seals Can Get Stressed By People So Keep A Reasonable Distance At All Times.

In fact, seals are sensitive creatures.
Sometimes people get too close and are attacked by seals.

There is also a sign, like the picture, that you should keep a distance of 20m or more.
If you are going to see it, keep your manners and have fun!

Keep your manners and have fun

At The End

How was the Red Rocks Reserve?
It’s a comfortable distance from Wellington, so I think it would be nice to go there regularly.

That is the place where I want to go often and don’t hesitate to go since the distance.

Make sure to visit there when you visit Wellington!