Popular Dunedin road closed for safety of sea lion pup

A popular Dunedin road will be closed for a month so a sea lion and her new pup can move safely between their bush hideout and the ocean.

The sea lion named "Hariwa" gave birth last week on the beach-side Chisholm Links Golf Club course where she's been bonding with her new addition.

"I've seen the sea lion. At the moment I haven't seen the pup... seems to be well hidden away on a secret location somewhere on the course," club manager Wilson James said.

For the next month John Wilson Ocean Drive,  a popular road with walkers and cyclists, it will become a private lane for the sea lion to safely forage for her new pup.

"They'll look for places that they're not going to be found by male sea lions. And I think she's picked a good one," DOC coastal biodiversity ranger Jim Fyfe said.

Hariwa made her first foraging trip on Thursday and is expected to journey between her bush hideout and the ocean early each morning, returning late in the afternoons.

There are 24 breeding female sea lions in coastal Dunedin, with the native species recognised as nationally vulnerable, Fyfe said.

"We had a tragic event last year down in the Catlins, where mother and pup were actually killed by a car on a road."

The pair will stay hidden for a few more weeks before Hariwa moves her pup back to the coast to give it some swimming lessons.