If you ever want to view sealions in their natural habitat, then Sandfly Bay is the perfect place to do it. Named for what occurs when the wind is up, Sandfly Bay is situated just 15km from the hum of central Dunedin, New Zealand. Although so close to the city it feels like it could be a million miles away.
Google maps is a useful resource for directions or just call into the information centre located on the West side of the Octagon in the heart of Dunedin City. Once there it is just a short but steep walk down the sand dunes and onto this beautiful stretch of coastline.
And splayed across the coastline like washed up flotsam are an armada of sealions. On the day that I visited the bay I viewed over 20 sealions all taking life very casually, relaxing in the sun.
But Sea Lions arent the only visitors to these shores and it is a perfect opportunity to see some of the other wildlife that call this beach home. Towards the far end of the beach and a short walk up the hill is a hide from which you can view the endangered yellow eyed penguin.
Although none were making their way up the beach when I was there, the perfect time to see them is early evening when they make their way to their nests following a days fishing.It is important to keep out of sight of these guys as they are pretty shy and won’t continue onto their nests if they feel threatened.
Another animal to make an appearance at the Bay is the New Zealand Fur Seal. Like the sealion they to were nearly wiped out following the arrival of Polynesians and Europeans to New Zealand. Today though their numbers are increasing and it was cool to see one enjoying the sun, lying on the rocks towards the far end of the beach.
Like the Yellow-eyed penguin , it is important to remain a reasonable distance from these guys as well as any disturbance will see them scuttling back to the sea. All in all it is a wicked place to check out some of Otagos wildlife on a good or even not so good day.