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Rachael Woods - Ohau Waterfall and Stream

Ohau point is located on the eastern coastline of New Zealand’s south island. It is positioned on state highway 1 halfway between the coastal town of Kaikoura and Blenheim. Ohau point is famous for its sightings of New Zealand fur seals and especially sightings of pups during the months of June to September. The area is enclosed in dense temperature rainforest along which a tributary runs towards the ocean. A waterfall as seen in the photograph funnels the water from the surrounding forest creating a basin. During the winter months mother New Zealand fur seals leave their pups for multiple days to play and socialise in these waters while they hunt in the ocean. This interaction is imperative for the survival and integration of the pups into normal social settings as adults. This area is inhabited by a wide variety of flora and fauna from native birds to rainforest ferns.

This area has become famous for its seal pup sightings and has become a tourist attraction in recent years. Information signs as well as a clearly marked track have been erected drawing many tourists as well as locals to the area. This heightened level of human activity threatens the ecosystem and especially the seal pups that are becoming habituated to humans reducing their innate fear. Increased foot traffic has also lead to a widening of the path affecting the forest floor and establishment of flora. Finally the tributary’s close association with the highway leads to high levels of noise and air pollution which affects the ecosystem as a whole.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on August 15, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Rachael Woods
    • Camera: Canon PowerShot G12
    • Taken on 2012/07/16 01:48:28
    • Exposure: 0.040s (1/25)
    • Focal Length: 6.10mm
    • F/Stop: f/2.800
    • ISO Speed: ISO800
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash