Gillespies Beach Seal Colony Walk

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Time: 3 - 4 hr return

Walk along the beach north of Gillespies Beach to visit the seal colony. Keep your eyes open because dolphins like to spend time here. On a nice day, the mountain vista provided by the Southern Alps is breathtaking.

Don't forget your sand-fly repellent as they can be keen and thirsty here!

Photos

Maps

Access

At the northern end of Fox township turn into Cook Flat Road. Continue past the Lake Matheson turnoff, take the sharp right hander and pass the Peak View Lookout.

From here and for the next 12 km to the coast the road is narrow, winding and unsealed. Not suited to larger campervans. All walks start from the road end carpark where there are toilets and a campground.

13 reviews with the most recent first

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Monique's avatar

Monique

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Stunning walk through the rainforest, very muddy, good shoes are needed. Signs say 3.5 hours return. plan with 4 to 4.5 hours. We did not see any deals but the walk was cool.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in January 2017

Jade Templer's avatar

Jade Templer

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful, adventurous, exciting and we saw a seal! Felt natural and not disruptive to nature, very enjoyable.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in December 2016

Conservation Campsite Pass

Save up to 70% on campsite fees! Support conservation and experience the natural beauty of NZ. 74 Department of Conservation campsites, one convenient pass.

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Sian Templer's avatar

Sian Templer

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful, ever changing walk through forest, across streams, beaches. Muddy and a lot of uphill but worth the effort and I saw one seal at the seal colony.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in December 2016

Rhydian Templer's avatar

Rhydian Templer

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

Exciting walk through jungle like environments to reach the goal of a seal colony. However, I did fall in the mud!!

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in December 2016

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Juan Viscegle's avatar

Juan Viscegle

Argentina

Ranking: 7/10

Really nice walk through the forest with an awesome end at the beach. Not so many seals, but we managed to see one.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in March 2016

Susanna Daaike's avatar

Susanna Daaike

Germany

Ranking: 8/10

Very nice walk through the forest. It can be dangerous /slippery. Colony far away from the lookout.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Wirth Pascal's avatar

Wirth Pascal

Switzerland

Ranking: 10/10

Highlight!! Walk takes more than 3 and a half hours. Adventurous track with muddy challenges.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in January 2016

Avoid Camping Fines!

The only camping map where each location is approved by every regional council in NZ. So if it shows on the map, you’re allowed to stay.

The Rankers Camping NZ app, is also in association with…

Udo Wagner's avatar

Udo Wagner

Ranking: 9/10

We did not walk all the way to the seal colony but the walk along the beach to the lagoon and back is great and takes about 2 hours.

Reviewed almost 3 years ago

Max Brunner's avatar

Max Brunner

Ranking: 5/10

Long track. Plan with 5 hours return. Also after rained it was really muddy. We didn't see any seals. Even though the walk is cool don't do it because of seals. There are better spots.

Reviewed about 3 years ago

Guillemette's avatar

Guillemette

France

Ranking: 7/10

A long track written for 3 hr 30 mins but minimum 5 hours in fact. But very nice.

Reviewed about 4 years ago and experienced in January 2014

Camping NZ App Icon

Camping NZ App

Every camping site on your iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™ phone or tablet. Avoid camping penalties using this council approved app. Featuring offline maps.

Download from the App Store Download Android app on Google Play

Michael Heuer's avatar

Michael Heuer

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

4-5 hours return to the colony. You pass a beautiul lagoon and do not miss the short link to the miners tunnel - amazing view.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in March 2013

Hans Bet's avatar

Hans Bet

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

Wild!! Walk with the seals and dolphins.

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in March 2012

Indra t Jolle's avatar

Indra t Jolle

Belgium

Ranking: 8/10

Adventurous.

Reviewed over 6 years ago and experienced in February 2012

13 reviews with the most recent first

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Monique's avatar

Monique

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Stunning walk through the rainforest, very muddy, good shoes are needed. Signs say 3.5 hours return. plan with 4 to 4.5 hours. We did not see any deals but the walk was cool.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in January 2017

Jade Templer's avatar

Jade Templer

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful, adventurous, exciting and we saw a seal! Felt natural and not disruptive to nature, very enjoyable.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in December 2016

Conservation Campsite Pass

Save up to 70% on campsite fees! Support conservation and experience the natural beauty of NZ. 74 Department of Conservation campsites, one convenient pass.

Get the Pass

Sian Templer's avatar

Sian Templer

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful, ever changing walk through forest, across streams, beaches. Muddy and a lot of uphill but worth the effort and I saw one seal at the seal colony.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in December 2016

Rhydian Templer's avatar

Rhydian Templer

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

Exciting walk through jungle like environments to reach the goal of a seal colony. However, I did fall in the mud!!

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in December 2016

Top Ranked NZ Deals Pass

Access savings worth hundreds of $$ on Top Ranked NZ Accommodation and Activities for just $1 per day.

Get deals pass

Juan Viscegle's avatar

Juan Viscegle

Argentina

Ranking: 7/10

Really nice walk through the forest with an awesome end at the beach. Not so many seals, but we managed to see one.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in March 2016

Susanna Daaike's avatar

Susanna Daaike

Germany

Ranking: 8/10

Very nice walk through the forest. It can be dangerous /slippery. Colony far away from the lookout.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Wirth Pascal's avatar

Wirth Pascal

Switzerland

Ranking: 10/10

Highlight!! Walk takes more than 3 and a half hours. Adventurous track with muddy challenges.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in January 2016

Avoid Camping Fines!

The only camping map where each location is approved by every regional council in NZ. So if it shows on the map, you’re allowed to stay.

The Rankers Camping NZ app, is also in association with…

Udo Wagner's avatar

Udo Wagner

Ranking: 9/10

We did not walk all the way to the seal colony but the walk along the beach to the lagoon and back is great and takes about 2 hours.

Reviewed almost 3 years ago

Max Brunner's avatar

Max Brunner

Ranking: 5/10

Long track. Plan with 5 hours return. Also after rained it was really muddy. We didn't see any seals. Even though the walk is cool don't do it because of seals. There are better spots.

Reviewed about 3 years ago

Guillemette's avatar

Guillemette

France

Ranking: 7/10

A long track written for 3 hr 30 mins but minimum 5 hours in fact. But very nice.

Reviewed about 4 years ago and experienced in January 2014

Camping NZ App Icon

Camping NZ App

Every camping site on your iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™ phone or tablet. Avoid camping penalties using this council approved app. Featuring offline maps.

Download from the App Store Download Android app on Google Play

Michael Heuer's avatar

Michael Heuer

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

4-5 hours return to the colony. You pass a beautiul lagoon and do not miss the short link to the miners tunnel - amazing view.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in March 2013

Hans Bet's avatar

Hans Bet

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

Wild!! Walk with the seals and dolphins.

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in March 2012

Indra t Jolle's avatar

Indra t Jolle

Belgium

Ranking: 8/10

Adventurous.

Reviewed over 6 years ago and experienced in February 2012