Best time to travel to New Zealand

Baby Fur Seals Watching in New Zealand

Hundreds of restless fur seal pups play in water streams while their moms go hunting in the ocean

Best time: April–October

Baby Fur Seals Watching
Baby Fur Seals Watching
Baby Fur Seals Watching
Baby Fur Seals Watching

As all the babies, fur seal pups look more appealing than grown-up mammals. One might observe these unbelievably cute animals with huge brown eyes and their restless water games for hours and days. While the pups enjoy themselves, their moms swim fishing in the ocean. It allows you to come really close to the baby fur seals, marvel at their playfulness and take wonderful pictures. This delight is available during the period between April and October. One of the best hotspots for fur seal pups watching is the foot of the Ohau Waterfall in Kaikoura.​

Practical info

When is the best time to view fur seals in Kaikoura, New Zealand?

Fur seals are best viewed in Kaikoura, New Zealand between the months of April and October. During this period, fur seal pups can be observed playing in the water while their mothers hunt. Visitors can enjoy watching these adorable creatures for hours on end and even take some beautiful photographs. In summary, Kaikoura is one of the best locations in New Zealand for fur seal watching. Show more

What is the recommended area for observing fur seal pups in New Zealand?

One of the best areas in New Zealand for observing fur seal pups is at the foot of the Ohau Waterfall, located in Kaikoura. Here it's possible to watch the pups swim in water streams, play or rest on rocks. Visitors are allowed to get close to the animals as they observe them, though they must be careful not to disturb either the pups or their habitat. Visitors can also book guided tours with a number of available tour operators in Kaikoura. Show more

What is the approach visitors should take when they want to observe the fur seal pups playing in water streams?

Visitors to the area should be mindful of their approach when observing the fur seal pups playing in the water. While visitors can get reasonably close to observe the animals, it's important that they don't disrupt the pups' natural habitat. This means that visitors should remain as still and quiet as possible while observing. Visitors should also consider using binoculars or a camera with a zoom lens to capture images and to avoid disturbing the pups' behaviour. Show more

What is the difference in size between fur seal pups and adult fur seals?

Fur seal pups are much smaller than adult fur seals. When born, fur seal pups typically measure around 60 cm in length and weigh approximately 4 kg. In contrast, adult fur seals measure about 2.3 m in length and weigh around 300 kg. Due to their cute appearance and playful nature, fur seal pups are a popular attraction for tourists visiting New Zealand. Show more

How long do fur seal pups play in the water, and what is the effect of the mother's absence on their behaviour?

Fur seal pups play for hours in the water while their mothers go off to hunt for food. The pups' activities include swimming in water streams, jumping, and resting on rocks. Despite their mothers' absence, the pups appear to be well adjusted to this situation, as they are accustomed to being left alone for extended periods of time. They have a thick fur coat that insulates them against the cold and can survive for up to a week without food. Show more

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