Porpoise Bay (New Zealand)

Looking across Porpoise Bay to South Head

Porpoise Bay is in the Catlins, on the southern coast of New Zealand's South Island. The bay sweeps gently from North Head, at the entrance to Waikawa Harbour, around to South Head. A campground overlooking the bay is situated on South Head, which separates Porpoise Bay from Curio Bay.

A pod of endangered Hector's dolphins live here; dolphin-watching tours are conducted by boat from Waikawa, but they also can often be seen from the beach. In 2007, the Department of Conservation proposed including the bay in a group of new sanctuaries designed to protect marine mammals,[1] some calling for a complete ban on set nets.[2] Local fishermen protested, fearing for their livelihood.[3]

Hector's dolphins at Porpoise Bay

Other notable wildlife regularly seen are yellow-eyed penguin, blue penguin, New Zealand fur seal, and New Zealand sea lion.[4]


  1. ^ Heide, Maike van der (5 September 2007). "Sanctuaries planned to protect dolphins". Marlborough Express. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  2. ^ Easton, Paul (30 August 2007). "New marine sanctuaries not enough - Forest & Bird". Marlborough Express. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  3. ^ "Fishers concerned about new set net ban". Rodney Times. 5 June 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  4. ^ "Experiencing Curio Bay and its wildlife" (PDF). doc.govt.nz. Department of Conservation. Retrieved 10 March 2016.

Coordinates: 46°40′S 169°07′E / 46.667°S 169.117°E / -46.667; 169.117