There's a welcome sight along State Highway 1 north of Kaikōura this year: the seal colony at Ohau Point has returned in big numbers despite the earthquakes.
Road workers have built a small carpark to accommodate tourists, but it is already overflowing with seal sightseers.
- Seal sanctuary in Kaikōura wiped out by earthquake
- Seals ushered to safety by specialist crews in Kaikōura
- Popular seal lookout reopens two years after Kaikōura earthquake
It's a whole new playground created by the earthquakes, and the perfect place for seal pups going through their teenage years to learn to test their boundaries.
"The earthquake has moved the seals on a little bit, but fortunately for us the seals haven't been scared away and they've remained in this region in great numbers," says Department of Conservation community ranger Brett Cowan.
The huge rebuild effort is bringing a series of lookouts back along the highway, allowing tourists to watch on.
"We're going to build another six starting at Okiwi Bay, and you'll probably be able to get another 40 or 50 cars in there," says Colin Knaggs, owner interface manager for the New Zealand Transport Agency.
The sight is delighting tourists travelling along the Kaikōura Coast.
"They're so cute and it's honestly so fun, I think we've already spent 20 minutes here," one person told Newshub.
The new and improved Ohau Point, proving more popular than ever for seals and tourists alike.