Cannibal Bay – Catlins

Another beautiful beach in the Catlins – Cannibal Bay

Look out for a sign to Cannibal Bay (on the left travelling south),  just north of Owaka, it’s about 8 km down a gravel road. As well as being a very picturesque spot there are often seal lions on the beach.

There’s a good coastal walk that links Cannibal and Surat Bays; both bays are regular haul out sites for New Zealand sea lions. From Cannibal Bay follow the beach south towards False Islet and take the track that cuts through the sand dunes to Surat Bay. Surat Bay (see post) owes its name to the ship Surat, wrecked on the bar, New Years Day 1874. Watch for sea lions in the dunes as we saw a lot of flattened grass close to the track, indicating that they had been resting there recently.

The sea lions are fascinating but please keep your distance from these animals (10 metres minimum is recommended)  Although they may seem tranquil enough, they can get aggressive if disturbed,  don’t come between them and the sea or approach their cubs.  Remember this is their home and we need to respect that.

Cannibal Bay owes its name to the human remains once found by a surveyor here rather than to any man-eating past. If you carry on along the same road,  past a group of building on the corner and up the hill, it will take you to the Kaka Point road and has great views of the coast from the top of the hill.

 Beautiful Cannibal Bay looking towards False Islet and Surat bay over the sand dunes at the end of the beach.

The northern end of the beach above and below

 A couple of sea gulls were having a bath in the shallow water  False Islet

Rocks at the southern end of the beach

Looking back towards the Northern end of the beach.

Sea lion soaking up the sun after rolling in sand.   We were lucky to see a group of sea lions, three large males and three females.   Photos of Surat Bay below.

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