The road to Cape Palliser deteriorates after the Pinnacles and is unpaved in places. It's a dramatic, bleak ride, though not particularly hard, provided you take care. After 20 km (12 mi), the road ends at Cape Palliser, where 250 (sign says 258) wooden steps climb up to the candy-striped lighthouse. The views from here, up and down the wild coastline, are terrific. Below the lighthouse, splashing in the surf and basking on the rocks, are members of the North Island's
only resident fur seal colony. You'll be able to get pretty close for photos, but not too close—these wild animals are fiercely protective of their young. Don't get between seals and pups, or seals and the ocean.