We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Wild advenuture so close to the heart of the CITY!”
Review of Seal Coast Safari

Seal Coast Safari
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
149 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Wild advenuture so close to the heart of the CITY!”
Reviewed January 3, 2013

Really enjoyed our 3 tour tour out along Wellingtons wild coast line. Out of the city within 15 minutes and along the bumpy rocky foreshore where our driver half jokes about the risk of getting stuck. Such amazing scenery and not something I would normally do but the wild New Zealand fur seals at the point (overlooking a crooked lighthouse surely blown over by Welly windys) was the deal clincher. Our tour guide happy chirped along the entire ride pulling out fun facts on the trip and Wellington in general which really add the the experience, Sadly was gale force winds when we went so was not able to go up over the Wind farm hills to reach the beach so instead of completing a loop-ish track we heading out and back along the same route. I'm sure it didn't really both anyone but given my love of Wind turbines I was a bit sad that this was not possible. Not really a bif issue for anyone but ya...Best time of year is apparently WINTER when the seals come for breeding...otherwise its an all male colony but we saw 10+ seals so that didn't worry me. Also best to go on a calm-ish day so when you reach the point you are able to get out without being blown to Timbuktu

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank jadk001
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 review, January 9, 2013
Thanks for your review and cool photo! We are so glad you enjoyed the trip despite the windy Wellington weather - it's all part of the adventure! We think it is fantastic having such a gem of a coast just in our backyard, and it was a pleasure to share it with you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

188 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    153
    26
    4
    3
    2
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Wellington, New Zealand
1 review
“Not to be missed”
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.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
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 review, 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.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
1 review
“Joe1234”
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.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
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 review, 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!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
66 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“A dud”
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.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
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 review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape May, New Jersey
Level Contributor
28 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Wonderful tea and scenery, but entertaining for the wrong reasons.”
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.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
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 review, 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!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Seal Coast Safari also viewed

Wellington, Greater Wellington
Wellington, Greater Wellington
 
Wellington, Greater Wellington
Wellington, Greater Wellington
 

Been to Seal Coast Safari? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing