NZ Journal Day 12 (11/20/16) – PART ONE: We spent both the morning and evening of today exploring the wild coastline of Carter’s Beach, just south of Westport. In the morning we surprised some fur seals, and in the evening we were eluded by the Little Blue Penguins, both who call Carter’s Beach home.

fur seal Carters Beach Westport Gibbson Beach

A mother fur seal yawning in the early morning. We didn’t see it at first, but she had a baby sleeping in the rocks behind her.

We stumbled upon this handsome devil while walking the coastline. An important rule to note when encountering fur seals is not to get between them and the sea. We failed here and moments after taking this photo he charged for the safety of the ocean, sending us scampering across the rocks and out of his way.

fur seal surprised Carters Beach Westport Gibbson Beach
Carters Beach Westport rocky beach Gibbson Beach

Clara scouting Gibbson Beach here in the Carters Beach area. This coastline is a popular breeding area for the native fur seals and we saw plenty this morning. No other humans in sight!

Carters Beach Westport sunset

In the evening we walked the long stretch of Carters Beach in search of the Little Blue Penguins who come ashore at dusk. They spend all day fishing in the ocean and spend the night in the bluffs raising their young.

Carters Beach Westport black and white

Carters Beach is experiencing an alarming loss of coastline due to erosion. The beach is lined with the carcasses of trees which once stood proudly on the bluffs, which have now turned to beach.

Carters Beach Westport fallen tree

The erosion issue at Carters Beach is having a negative impact on the endangered Little Blue Penguin as well, since their coastal bluff habitat is rapidly being reclaimed by the waves.

Carters Beach Westport tree roots

A sobering sight on the Westport coastline…