I was talking to Tui, my maori friend last October 18,2007 and asking him what is the best to go during the labor weekend that my kids will enjoy and he suggested to go to Cape Palliser to see the fur seal.
I was excited to see a seals on my own eyes and then I said to my self, “Where is Cape Pallise?”is that on the South Island.
My friends said Cape Palliser are located in Southern-most tip of the North Island,and blessed with some of the most outstanding coastal scenery in the lower North Island and The largest breeding colony of fur seals in the North Island is also found here.
I said ,”WOW” and i want to go there to see the fur seals sun bathing and resting in the grass. I prepared everything the map the i will used and how much the petrol should i fill my car.
In the morning of Oct. 20,2007, around 5 am, i woke up and prepared the foods for my two kids and for my wife , “itlog ” ang ulam namin”. by six am we are moving going to the seals colony but we have to go to shell station in newtown,wellington for a full tank just to make sure.
After ,We pass the Fishing Village,no more nice road. Gravel road up to the seals colony and lighthouse. For me no pain to gain.
A few minutes from Fishing Village, We saw alots of fur seals resting in the grass.
For your Information,according to Department of Conservations.The seals breed on steep boulder beaches with plenty of crevices and tidal pools. Their layer of fat and thick fur coats, which enable them to endure long periods in water, can cause overheating on land. Crevices provide shade, and tidal pools a place to cool off.
The dominant male mates with numerous females, so many males do not get a chance to breed in every season. They often have sites where they haul out (rest), away from the breeding colonies. These sites may become breeding colonies if females visit them.
Adult males are the first to arrive at the breeding colonies, from late October to early November. They establish territories that they defend aggressively, and remain on land, fighting but not feeding, until mid-January. This inter-male competition has promoted the evolution of large males, weighing up to 185 kilograms (an average female weighs 40 kilograms).
Females arrive from foraging at sea in late November, and give birth to a single pup (conceived the year before) by early January. About eight days later she will mate – usually with the dominant male. The female does all the nurturing of the newborn. She stays with the pup constantly for about 12 days, then alternates between feeding at sea and suckling. As the pup grows, the mother needs more food to make enough milk. Pups are weaned in July or August, and the pregnant females go to sea to fatten once again. The young pups then head out to sea, coming ashore at times. Females start breeding at around four years.
Back to my blog, We also went to Cape Palliser lighthouse, 250 steps from the ground. As I said before, Cape Palliser is home to the largest breeding colony of fur seals in the North Island.
It’s also the place to see the majestic Putangirua Pinnacles, which were formed 120,000 years ago by heavy rain eroding an ancient gravel deposit. So, see you for my next adventures.