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“Not to be missed”
Review of Seal Coast Safari

Seal Coast Safari
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Just minutes from the city lies nature's playground! Travel through private land and see wild animals, snow-capped mountains of the South, and stunning views of Wellington. Observe New Zealand Fur Seals in their natural habitat and the Leaning Lighthouse. Listen to stories and relax as you journey around bays and past the world-renowned Red Rocks. Seal Coast Safari has been providing guests with exclusive access to the best scenery in Wellington for over 17 years.
Reviewed December 26, 2012

Our family of all ages all loved the trip, full of the unexpected and a total escape to nature. Amazing scenery that is only accessible by 4wd, and the guide Ken was really pleasant and gave good commentary. We got the right weather to get the full length drive of the coast which is apparently usual but not guaranteed, it is the farthest reaches that are seal packed so given it is not seal season that was fortunate as we still saw many of them and got close. Have done many tours here and this is up there with horse riding by the Shotover gorge for memorable.

Thank Rachael F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SealCoastSafari, Operations Manager at Seal Coast Safari, responded to this reviewResponded January 7, 2013

Thank you for your lovely review and photo! It is great when you can get right around the coast (obviously we cannot risk passenger safety if it is washed out), and we are glad that the safari was so memorable for you and your family! Will pass on your compliments to the driver.

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167 - 171 of 204 reviews

Reviewed December 24, 2012

I would like to say our trip was amazing and a great adventure. Our kids still talk about it everyday. Was one of our highlights of our trip to NZ. Billy our tour guide was just awesome! Thanks again for the great memories.

Thank Joe1234255068
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SealCoastSafari, Operations Manager at Seal Coast Safari, responded to this reviewResponded December 25, 2012

Thanks for the great review! We are glad you and your kids enjoyed the tour - and thank you for the lovely photo!

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Reviewed November 19, 2012

What we thought was going to be a great time, turned out to be a dud. Our driver started out up the mountain. Since we arrived first, he waited for the other three vehicles in the convoy. We did take in some majestic scenery as we traveled up high, but once we got to the beach, things turned sour. We stopped to admire a seal and that was about the end. Our driver veered off the path, the 3 other vehicles before us had taken. Our van got stuck in the sand. For 1 1/2 hours, our guide and guests tried to shovel and push/pull us out sometime jeapardizing our safety. Apparently we were not missed by the owner and the other 2 drivers as no one made any attempt to rescue us or contact us. The drivers do not have redio contact. We also learned that the 4 wheel drive was not wroking.
Some of the vans are most uncomfortable with two benches facing each other and very little leg room. Visibility from the windows is greatly hampered as it is difficult to turn around or to look over someone.

Thank arbarkar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SealCoastSafari, Operations Manager at Seal Coast Safari, responded to this reviewResponded November 21, 2012

Our tour is an off-road adventure - part of that can be unpredictable but we hope you enjoyed the scenery and seals you saw along the way.
Our driver/guides are highly professional but even the best driver can be caught by soft sand and it is unfortunate that it happened during your safari. Passengers' personal safety is never put at risk and the vehicle you were in was road tested when the trip returned - there were no problems with the 4WD mechanisms.
The other drivers did come back to help and they all use cell phones to contact each other when necessary.
We chose vehicles with bench seating so ALL passengers get a window seat.
Thank you for your review

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Reviewed November 12, 2012

First, I would recommend this tour. It is entertaining, views are great, and has great potential to see seals. Just be sure not to go during rising tide and the off season of seals. My tour was training a new guide, so we got to listen to them banter at each other over information, and how and/or who provides it. That actually was entertaining to watch, but it wasn't supposed to be part of the tour intentionally. We only saw two seals (off season) and couldn't make it to the lighthouse due to incoming high tide. The views we did see were quite lovely and informative. If they offer you a tea made from the native plants, take it. It is ten times more effective than chamomile and is quite good. The ride is a little awkward, but as long as your buckled in and hold the handle you're good. Would be nice if the seats were positioned like a traditional van so the views were easier.

Thank stauf82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SealCoastSafari, Operations Manager at Seal Coast Safari, responded to this reviewResponded November 21, 2012

Thank you for your feedback. We do have to do training of our new drivers with passengers on board - we are glad you found their banter entertaining, though we have made a note of this for future training sessions, as we don't want to detract from the safari! With regards to the high tide, the access and water levels vary (and obviously we can't control the tide), but safety dictates that we do not put passengers at risk. Overall we hope you enjoyed the safari and got some great photos!

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Reviewed November 7, 2012

Let me first preface this review by saying the only reason this did not get a perfect rating in my book is because I went off season so there were not too many seals to see. If I had seen a few more seals, or some of them at least moving, then I would have happily and easily given this a 5/5. Otherwise this was an amazing tour that was the best part of my trip to Wellington.

My guide Nathan, was great company, and a fantastic guide, since I was alone on my tour. We went up into the mountains and hills behind Wellington that offered a view of the city, the airport, the South Island, and the ocean on many sides. The day started off partly cloudy but the sky became crystal clear not long into the tour offering an amazing range on the views. We then headed down the face of the mountains back down to the shores on the south side of the island. We drove along the beach for a while to reach a spit of land/rocks that jutted out into the ocean. There were about 10 seals sunning themselves and sleeping, not really caring that we were there. We had some coffee and muffins as we watched them sleep, and admired the surrounding mountains, water, and animals. After a bit we drove back up the mountains. As a bonus we stopped and watched some people hang gliding and parachuting off the top of one of the peaks. We dove back into town seeing the same views but in better light as we returned. This was a fantastic morning, I had a different experience since I was on my own for the tour but Nathan was a fantastic guide and great to listen to and talk to. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who is going to Wellington.

Thank Chris W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SealCoastSafari, Operations Manager at Seal Coast Safari, responded to this reviewResponded November 19, 2012

Thank you for your detailed feedback and fantastic photos! It is a shame the seals you saw weren't doing much other than lying on the rocks - but that's nature for you! We are glad you enjoyed the trip and will pass on the compliments to Nathan!

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