Katiki Point, Moeraki Peninsula


Katiki Point Wildlife Management Reserve

Sea birds are a feature of Katiki Point Wildlife Management Reserve, and none are more popular than the yellow-eyed penguin/hoiho and little penguin/kororā. The rock platforms below support a large colony of New Zealand fur seals/kekeno.

Katiki Point Historic Reserve/Te Raka-a-Hineatea

Katiki Point. Photo: David Agnew.
Katiki Point Historic Reserve

Katiki Point Lighthouse (built in 1878) stands on Katiki Point Historic Reserve/Te Raka-a-Hineatea. Close by is the site of the old Te Raka-a-Hineatea Pa.

The reserve is vested in Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu who manage the reserve in conjunction with Te Rūnanga o Moeraki.

From this Cretaceous sandstone and mudstone point you can take in commanding ocean and coastal views. It is a popular spot for fishing. 


Penguin viewing

Yellow-eyed penguins with young at nest. Photo: Cheryl Pullar.
Hoiho with young at nest

This is the most significant breeding site for yellow-eyed penguins/hoiho in North Otago. When you enter the reserve, take the track to your left to the penguin viewing hide. Here you can view penguins in their natural habitat without disturbing them. Please keep noise to a minimum. Best viewing is before 9am and after 3pm.

The beach cannot be accesssed.

Penguin rehabilitation and protection

The lighthouse keeper's house is used as a private rehabilitation centre for sick and injured penguins and other birds. The centre is run by Katiki Point Penguin Trust. The trust and its volunteers protect penguins from predation by trapping feral cats, ferrets and stoats.  

New Zealand fur seals/kekeno 

Large numbers of New Zealand fur seals/kekeno haul out to rest on the rocky platforms around Katiki Point and Moeraki Peninsula. This is the main breeding area in North Otago. 


A variety of sea and shore birds breed here: little blue penguin/kororā, yellow-eyed penguin/hoiho, sooty shearwater/tītī, diving petrel, red-billed gull/tarapuka, spotted shag/koau pāteketeke, white-fronted tern/tara, variable oystercatcher/tōrea pango. 


This is a popular recreational fishing spot for locals. Follow the signposted track to the point for coastal access.

Three defined areas around Moeraki Point, Katiki Beach and Katiki Point are now protected from commercial fishing by a mataitai. The Ministry of Fisheries enforce the commercial fishing ban. 


Moeraki is on the East Coast of the South Island, 35 km south of Oamaru.

Getting there

Moeraki is signposted on State Highway 1 approximately 4 km south of Hampden. After turning off State Highway 1, turn right onto Tenby Street, then right onto Lighthouse Road, and follow to the end.


Bird and wildlife watching Bird and wildlife watching

Tracks and walks

The 600 metre walk, from the entrance to the point, takes approximately 10 minutes one way.

For public safety reasons (steep cliffs), Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu close the reserve during hours of darkness. An on-site caretaker has private residence in the lighthouse keeper's house and enforces this closure.

Places to stay

There is no on-site accomodation, and camping is not permitted. There are a number of accommodation options in Moeraki including a motor camp. There is also a motor camp nearby at Hampden. The nearest DOC campsite is at Trotters Gorge.

Plan and prepare


Find out more


Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for Otago places


Ōtepoti / Dunedin Office
Phone:      +64 3 477 0677
Email:   dunedinvc@doc.govt.nz
Full office details