The South Coast

Wild Beauty
Wellingtonians enjoy a slice of one of the wildest parts of New Zealand’s coastline. On the edge of Cook Strait, and right on the city’s doorstep is where the wild sea meets the suburbs.


From the narrow harbour entrance to the raw energy of the Terawhiti Rip, the Wellington South Coast is awe inspiring.

Fishing boats are at anchor in the shelter of Island Bay while seals cling to the rocks in the turbulent currents of Sinclair Head.  In the background is the spectacular view of the Kaikoura mountain range over 100Km away across Cook Strait.

In the middle of the South Coast and easily accessible by car and bus is the Taputeranga Marine Reserve. A fully protected part of the country’s coastline. The jewel in the middle of the reserve is Taputeranga Island. Also known as “Rat” Island and “Goat” Island and, supposedly, once the home of a hermit, Taputeranga is the only Island along the entire South coast of the North Island.

T
he Wellington South Coast is the meeting place of huge ocean currents bringing spectacular diversity and abundance. Every year hundreds of NZ Fur Seals arrive along the coast to overwinter and rest up. The fishing is fantastic and the diving and snorkeling is out of this world.

The extensive range of habitats along the coastline makes it a perfect home for many of the fish species that live in New Zealand’s inshore waters. There is an annual whale migration through Cook Strait every Winter, and in Summer Orca and Dolphins are regular visitors.

The South Coast is easily accessed from Wellington City by bus or private car. To make the most of a visit to the South Coast why not join one of our Discovery Programmes for a fully guided, educational experience that will form lasting impressions.  Our programmes cater for all ages and lifestyles and can be tailored to any individual requirements. Click here for bookings or more information.