What makes a gorgeous waterfall hike even better? Hundreds of adorable baby seals.
Every year, near Kaikoura, New Zealand, a large pod of fur seal pups swim down a stream to the picturesque Ohau waterfall, where they engage in an epic cuddlefest.
The pups play near the waterfall all throughout the winter (June through August), while their mothers hunt for food in the ocean, returning every so often to bring food back to the party.
The waterfall is part of the Ohau Point Fur Seal Sanctuary and is home to an estimated 3,000 seals.
The best part? It's only a 10-minute walk to the waterfall.
Just drive 16.8 miles north of Kaikoura via South Highway 1. Park at the second parking lot on the right-hand side of the road. This is where the hike begins.
But hurry, the pups, in all their adorable glory, await you:
The stream and waterfall are technically located on private property, but, according to New Zealand's official tourism website, the landowners work with the Department of Conservation to allow people to stop by.
They've even erected signs to help point the way for hikers and they've enlisted volunteers to make sure the seals are safe.
Although you can't join in on the cuddlefest -- authorities do not allow touching the seals and ask that you give them space -- they are just as sweet from a distance.
These are baby seals just north of Kaikoura on the South Island of New Zealand at the Ohau Point Seal Colony. Every winter the babies swim up a river and spend the day playing in a waterfall. They only need to feed every two days, so they just hang out and play while their mums and dads hunt. Video: Paul Boocock/ The Factory http://on.fb.me/1CPr6v0
Posted by news.com.au on Thursday, July 2, 2015