Cape Foulwind Walkway

Image: Miles Holden | DOC

Introduction

A seal colony, a lighthouse and panoramic views of mountains and coastline feature on this spectacular coastal walkway. With the beach close by as well it's a good option for children. It's also one of our best short walks.

Highlights


All drone use must be authorised by DOC

A concession is required to fly a drone on any public conservation land - apply to fly recreationally or commercially.


 

  • New Zealand fur seal/kekeno breeding colony
  • Panoramic views of mountains and coastline
  • Cape Foulwind lighthouse

 


 

  • Fitness required: Low to moderate
  • Gradient: Flat and undulating

Video

Track overview

3.4 km one way

Walking and tramping

1 hr 15 min one way Easiest: Short walk
Easy: Walking track

Seasonal restrictions

The busiest time for fur seals is November to February.

Dog access

Dogs on a leash only

About this track

Description

Shorter option: Tauranga Bay carpark to seal colony viewpoint

Time: 15 min
Distance: 500 m

Cape Foulwind short walk takes you from Tauranga Bay along a rocky headland to a viewpoint overlooking a New Zealand fur seal breeding colony.

Panels along the track tell stories of Māori history, sea voyages and early explorers.

Longer option: Seal colony viewpoint to Cape Foulwind lighthouse

Time: 1 hr
Distance: 2.9 km

From the seal colony, a longer walking track leads to Cape Foulwind lighthouse.

Return the same way or arrange transport from Cape Foulwind car park. 

Getting there

The nearest town is Westport (16 km).

Follow Cape Foulwind Road (SH67A) for 11 km to the former Holcim cement works. Turn left into Tauranga Bay Road to access the Tauranga Bay car park (southern end). 

The longer option can also be accessed from the Cape Foulwind lighthouse car park (northern end).

Nature and conservation

The seal breeding season from November to February is the busiest time of year for New Zealand fur seal/kekeno.

History and culture

Cape Foulwind was named by Captain James Cook in 1770 after his vessel was blown off course by the prevailing westerly winds. 

Know before you go

What to expect

Elevation change: +/- 7 m

Hazards
  • Rapidly changing weather – this is a coastal walk.
  • Significant fall hazards along walkway, keep to the track and keep children nearby.
Be prepared

Ensure you take:

  • Waterproof and windproof jacket, hat and gloves.

In the area

For information on transport, accommodation, activities, and attractions in the West Coast region, refer to www.westcoast.co.nz.

Contacts

Paparoa National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 731 1895
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   paparoavc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   4294 Coast Road
Punakaiki
RD 1
Runanga 7873
Postal Address:   4294 Coast Road
Punakaiki
RD 1
Runanga 7873
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