Located about 20 kilometers north of Kaikoura along State Highway 1, the Ohau Stream Walkway leads visitors to the waterfall and a pool where seal pups gather and play.
Exploring Ohau Waterfalls
As you hike through the lush forests of Oahu, you may stumble upon a hidden gem – a beautiful waterfall that cascades down into a crystal-clear pool below. But what you may not expect to see are adorable seal pups basking in the sun on the rocks next to the waterfall.
This unique and unexpected sight is a common occurrence at the Kaikoura waterfall, where New Zealand fur seals come to rest and care for their newborn pups.
The Kaikoura waterfall is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and ocean. But it’s the seals that steal the show, with their playful antics and adorable pups.
These furry creatures are a joy to watch as they lounge on the rocks and play in the water, completely unfazed by the curious onlookers nearby. It’s a rare opportunity to witness nature up close and personal, and one that you won’t soon forget.
Seal Pups at Oahu Waterfall
Species and Behavior
The seal pups at Oahu Waterfall are New Zealand fur seals (Arctocephalus forsteri) , also known as kekeno. These seals are endemic to New Zealand and can be found along the country’s coasts and offshore islands. The pups are born in November and December and are weaned after about six weeks. They spend their first few months learning to swim and hunt for food, under the watchful eye of their mothers.
Visitors to Oahu Waterfall should be aware that the seal pups are wild animals and should not be approached or disturbed. It is important to keep a safe distance and avoid making loud noises or sudden movements. The seals are protected under New Zealand law, and anyone caught harassing or harming them can face hefty fines and even imprisonment.
New Zealand fur seals were hunted almost to extinction in the 19th century, but their populations have since recovered thanks to conservation efforts. However, they still face threats from human activities such as fishing, pollution, and habitat destruction.
It is important for visitors to Oahu Waterfall and other seal habitats to be respectful and responsible, so that these adorable creatures can continue to thrive in their natural environment.
In conclusion, observing the seal pups at Oahu Waterfall is a unique and memorable experience that should be done with caution and respect. By following the guidelines and regulations set in place to protect these animals, visitors can enjoy watching them play and grow without causing harm or disturbance.
When visiting the Oahu waterfall in Kaikoura to see the adorable seal pups, it is important to follow some basic viewing etiquette to ensure the safety and well-being of the seals. Firstly, it is important to keep a safe distance from the seals and not to approach them. Getting too close to the seals can cause them to feel threatened and disrupt their natural behavior. It is recommended to stay at least 20 meters away from the seals.
Additionally, it is important to avoid making loud noises or sudden movements that could startle the seals. This can cause them to flee into the water, which can be dangerous for the pups if they are not yet strong swimmers. Visitors should also avoid using flash photography, as this can harm the seals’ eyesight and cause them to become disoriented.
By following these simple guidelines, visitors can enjoy watching the seal pups in their natural habitat while also ensuring their safety and well-being.
For those seeking activities in Kaikoura, a visit to Ohau Point is an absolute must. Whether you arrive during the season to witness the adorable seal pups or not, the waterfall and its surrounding pool offer a picturesque sight worth experiencing.