We came across the Red Rocks a few months ago when we were driving round the bays. We reached the very end of Owhiro Bay and thought that was the end of it. But I could see the coast from the carpark and realised that although it may have been the end of the road (literally), it certainly wasn't the end of an adventure. So I checked and found out that there is apparently a beautiful coastal walk from there towards the Red Rocks. Unfortunately, we were not prepared for a walk on that day so we went back in early May, which was good timing because we were able to see some seals.
The walk was roughly two and a half hours back and forth. But this all depends on how fit you are and how many stops you make along the way to take photos. But one thing is for sure, you have to be prepared to walk. A good pair of walking shoes is required in my opinion as you will be walking on a rugged path. A layered clothing will certainly help as it is an open area and it can get really windy and cold over there (regardless of the weather). Also, don't forget to bring a camera to capture the scenic views.
We walked through a flat but rocky surface. This is why you need a good pair of (waterproof) walking shoes or trainers as the rocks can be really sharp. Also, there is a stream of water that you have to cross along the way.
It was a Saturday when we went over there so there were quite a few 4WDs, quad-bikers and motorcyclists. Some of them were very fast (and noisy) so you have to make sure that you're out of the way, otherwise you'll end up covered with dust. They are not allowed there on Sundays though so it's an option if you want a rather quiet walk.
Half-way through the walk (on black sand) are amazing views including very artistic rock formations. I really wanted to climb on top of one of the rocks but as soon as I got close, I was instantly surrounded by hundreds of flies (cringe).
We didn't actually see the seals on the red rocks, but the rocks are pretty. According to history (naks- like I know), the rocks are lava formed from undersea volcanic eruptions 200 million years ago. There is also a folk tale on why the rocks are red, you can read it here.
We walked towards the Sinclair Head and then through the Devil's Gate. From here, we got a very good view of the coast.
Past the Devil's Gate is where we found the fur seals. They were just chilling out on the rocks. They were fascinating to watch.
It was meant to be an easy walk but I felt more tired afterwards than when I climbed up Mount Kaukau. I can't think of any reason for my tiredness apart from walking on the rocks/pebbles/boulder. Otherwise, the walk was pleasant.
I would definitely recommend this as one of the things that you must do in Wellington.