Gillespies Beach Seal Colony Walk...

Gillespies Beach Seal Colony Walk


13 Rankers Reviews

11 Face-to-Face

16 Seal Watching

7 Fox Glacier

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!


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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!


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.


Feature Value Info


DOC West Coast

Central government organisation


South IslandWest CoastFox Glacier


  • Walking
  • Seal Watching
  • Free


Monique's avatar



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 about 5 years 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 about 5 years ago and experienced in December 2016

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 about 5 years 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 about 5 years ago and experienced in December 2016

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Juan Viscegle's avatar

Juan Viscegle


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 5 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Susanna Daaike's avatar

Susanna Daaike


Ranking: 8/10

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

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Wirth Pascal's avatar

Wirth Pascal


Ranking: 10/10

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

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in January 2016

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 over 6 years ago

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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 over 6 years ago

Guillemette's avatar



Ranking: 7/10

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

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in January 2014

Michael Heuer's avatar

Michael Heuer


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 about 9 years ago and experienced in March 2013

Hans Bet's avatar

Hans Bet


Ranking: 9/10

Wild!! Walk with the seals and dolphins.

Reviewed almost 10 years ago and experienced in March 2012

Indra t Jolle's avatar

Indra t Jolle


Ranking: 8/10


Reviewed about 10 years ago and experienced in February 2012

DOC Managed

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 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick

Rankers Owner