An amazing display of native wildlife and birds can be seen at Nugget Point Lighthouse Road is signposted north of Owaka on SH92.
It is a 20 minute return walk from the carpark. A dramatic path with cliffs falling sharply from either side takes you to the lighthouse, built in 1869. Below you are the nuggets, stacks of sea-eroded rocks, named because of their resemblance to the shapes of gold nuggets - wishful thinking, perhaps! The gold of the area, though, is the wildlife.
This is the only place in the country where fur seals, sea lions and southern elephant seals all live together. Sea birds flourish, around the cliffs you can see spotted shags roosting and colonies of sooty shearwater or muttonbirds; Australasian gannets and royal spoonbills are also visitors. Yellow-eyed penguins can be seen from the viewing hide at Roaring Bay, just down the road from the lighthouse carpark.
Don’t miss this combination of spectacular coastal scenery and free viewing of fascinating wildlife in a unique setting. In 1998 the New Zealand government acknowledged the name of this place as Tokata, amongst other concessions in the Ngai Tahu settlement.
Image Credits:Night and Light Photography, Glen Butler, and Derek Smith and Maclean Barker Photographers