Surat Bay Road, New Haven

Surat Bay is quiet and peaceful spot, home to lots of wildlife that can be easily viewed and photographed. The bay was named after the sailing ship “Surat”, that was shipwrecked there on New Years Day in 1874.

In most conditions at Surat Bay, you will find a large colony of New Zealand Sea Lions (Whakahao) interacting or sleeping on the beach. This species is the world’s rarest Sea Lion and is only now rebuilding its mainland population, after being hunted to virtual extinction over 200 years ago.

Take care around the sea lions! Keep a 20 metre distance from those that are active and at least a 10 metre distance from those sleeping. If you are in a group do not surround them and never block their access to the sea. If you stay out of sight in the dunes you’ll able to observe their behaviour and how they interact; young and old, male and female. In many instances they may be completely motionless - they are not dead! When sea lions come ashore after a major expedition at sea they are exhausted, so don't disturb them.

Department of Conservation
Last modified
Tue 26 Jun 2018
  • Free Things to Do
  • Outdoor Activities
  • Sightseeing
  • Natural Attraction
  • Activities
  • Less than half day
  • Wildlife Spotting
  • Scenic Photo Point
  • Scenic Attraction
  • Self-Guided
  • Walking & Tramping