Cape Foulwind lighthouse track, looking back toward Tauranga Bay, Nine Mile Beach and Paparoa National Park
PHOTO: Ferne McKenzie ©


This spectacular walkway features a seal colony, a lighthouse and panoramic views of mountains and coastline - with the beach close by as well it's a good option for children.

Track overview

500 m - 3.4 km one way

Walking and tramping

15 min - 1 hr 15 min Easiest: Short walk
Easy: Walking track

Dog access

Dogs on a leash only

About this track


A well marked track along the coastline and over undulating farmland with an occasional stile over fences. It starts at Tauranga Bay carpark and finishes at Cape Foulwind carpark.

There are two sections on the walkway. You can take a short walk to the Tauranga Bay Seal Colony viewpoint and return to the Tauranga Bay carpark, or continue on the walking track to the Cape Foulwind lighthouse carpark.

Tauranga Bay carpark to Tauranga Bay Seal Colony viewpoint

Time: 30 min return
Distance: 1 km return

From the Tauranga Bay carpark at the southern end of the walkway, a fully accessible path brings you to a viewpoint overlooking the New Zealand fur seal/kekeno breeding colony.

Kekeno can be seen here all year round, numbers changing depending on the season. The busiest time of year is the breeding season from November to January.

There are picnic facilities, interpretive displays and public toilets here.

You can return to the carpark or continue to Cape Foulwind lighthouse. 

Tauranga Bay Seal Colony viewpoint to Cape Foulwind lighthouse and carpark

Time: 1 hr one way
Distance: 2.9 km one way

From the Seal Colony viewpoint the walkway changes to a walking track, and continues northward along the coastal bluffs to pass by the Cape Foulwind lighthouse before reaching the northern end of the walkway and carpark.

Interpretation panels along this section of track tell of sea voyages, early explorers, timbermills and quarries.

The walk is one way and you will need to arrange transport from Cape Foulwind carpark or return along the same walkway.

Getting there

Cape Foulwind and Tauranga Bay are on the coastline about 16 km southwest of Westport on SH67A Cape Foulwind Road.

The walk is one-way and you will need to arrange transport at the carparks at the track ends or return along the same walkway. Carparks are located at the southern end (Tauranga Bay) and northern end (Cape Foulwind).

To get to Taruanga Bay carpark from Westport follow the Cape Foulwind Road for 11 km, past the Holcim Cement Works turn to the left into Tauranga Bay Road., 

To get to Cape Foulwind carpark, turn right past the Holcim Cement Works and travel to the end of Cape Foulwind Road.

Know before you go

Wear sturdy footwear and take warm windproof clothes

Children will require tight supervision in exposed places along the coastline.

Keep to the track so as not to disturb the native vegetation and wildlife.


Paparoa National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 731 1895
Address:   4294 Coast Road
RD 1
Runanga 7873
Full office details
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