Have you seen Fur Seals, in their natural habitat, doing what seals do?
Kean Point Kaikoura is a haven for wildlife and most importantly, at least for the tourists, are the New Zealand Fur Seals.
Kaikoura, being the small seaside town that it is, makes finding Point Kean relatively easy. A short drive from the town centre will see you at the point.
Along with many other tourists all searching for their up close and personal encounter with the seals. Although, the area is well signed and tourists are advised to stay at least 10 metres away, after all these are wild animals.
This was tricky for the kids though, keeping ones distance from a cute and cuddly baby seal is just so hard to do.
If you keep your eyes peeled there is all manner of bird life around the point. This Southern Black-backed Gull, decided to nest right on the main thoroughfare for the tourists heading out to get their glimpse of a seal or two.
He was continually on guard for random tourists that weren't looking where they were going to ensure they didn't step on the nest. We watched one tourist get the fright of his life, as he wasn't aware of the nest and the gull certainly let him know that it was there!
We visited Kaikoura over the New Year period, whilst it is often relatively windy out on the point, the days were glorious and it was certainly a lovely place to sit and be with nature....and to take silly family snapshots. I'm sure the seals have seen worse!
This was one of those moments where my daughter just could not resist sneaking up to get a closer look at the baby seal. Thankfully she chose to stay above and behind him on the rock, so he was completely oblivious to her even being there.
It certainly is a rare treat to see these beautiful animals in their natural environment simply doing what seals do.
Be sure to visit Kean Point several times during your Kaikoura stay and time your visits at different intervals, that way you are bound to see a variety of seals all behaving differently.
Whilst difficult for us to photograph, one of the highlights was visiting on high tide and whilst there were no gorgeous specimens sunning themselves as most of the point is covered in water, there were many seals, frolicking and swimming with each other right before our eyes.
It was truly magical to witness.
Whilst in Kaikoura, though be sure to take the short drive north to see the Ohau Seal Colony, whilst a different viewing environment than Point Kean, there are generally larger numbers at Ohau.
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Kaikoura is 180km north of Christchurch, a small seaside village, with a permanent resident population of approximately 2000, it is popular with both tourists and locals.
We loved or time with the seals, definitely a bucket list experience!