Shag Point/Matakaea Reserve is a great spot for wildlife viewing and is part of a geologically curious and intriguing coastline.
New Zealand fur seals can normally be seen in good numbers on the rock shelves around Shag Point. There are two short seal-viewing walks where visitors can watch the seals swimming, playing, sleeping and basking in the sun. Please stick to the tracks so you don’t disturb the seals.
Shag Point also has interesting early Maori history, is a former coal mining area and features some fascinating geological features and formations. One of New Zealand’s most complete reptile fossil (a 7m plesiosaur) was also discovered on the rock shelves of Shag Point (which now resides in the Otago Museum in Dunedin).
There are two short walks at Matakaea Reserve, Shag Point, where you can view sea birds and watch NZ fur seals basking in the sun. No camping, no fires and strictly no dogs allowed. Tracks and seal-viewing are in a former coal mining area so please stick to the designated tracks for your own safety. Seals have been known to come up and lay across the warm gravel paths, so please be wary and maintain a respectful distance so not to disturb them.
There is a designated picnic area just before the reserve entrance, however, camping is not permitted. Strictly no dogs allowed.
Shag Point Road – off SH1