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 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.
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. Keep noise to a minimum. Best viewing is before 9 am and after 3 pm.
The beach cannot be accesssed.
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.
The 600 m 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.