He picked some prime real estate on Bar Beach for a doze on Wednesday evening, and was quickly encircled by a crowd of curious onlookers.
But this male long-nosed fur seal seemed to lap up the attention. He lazed around on the beach until Thursday morning, before he took off back out to sea.
Ronny Ling, president of the Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia, said the seal was probably having some much-needed rest and relaxation.
“They’re sort of like boys in their teens to mid-20s. They go out and have a big feed of squid or oily fish and then they like to sleep it off during the day,” he said.
“This one is quite chunky, he's quite healthy by the look of him.”
Mr Ling said it was not uncommon to see fur seals on Newcastle’s beaches at this time of year.
But he cautioned that the animals should be enjoyed “from a distance”.
“Staying back 40 metres at least, that’s really important. Never get between a seal and the water or they might bite you on the way through. They’re wild animals and they’re very unpredictable,” he said.
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SUNBATHING SEA ANIMALS
This is not the first time Newcastle has experienced an unusual animal encounter.
In July last year there was a very exclusive little bachelor party being held under the cover of darkness.
The party animals were pulling all-nighters engorging themselves before taking over some of the city’s prime locations to sleep it off all day.
A mini-colony of male New Zealand fur seals took squatters rights on the Nobbys breakwall and around the Cowrie Hole and Newcastle Baths, feasting on fish and enjoying themselves.
At the time ORRCA president Ronny Ling said the seal “bachelor party’’ had been created when some immature seals had following a couple of old bulls to learn.
“Obviously the older bulls are very successful, and the young males want to see what they are up and how they can improve,’’ Mr Ling said.
“They are nocturnal so you will see them lounging about during the day.’’
Mr Ling said the large amount of oily fish around Newcastle this time year – including tailor and salmon – meant the small group of seals did not need to move on.
“Two hundred years ago there would have been seals everywhere around here,’’ he said.
“It’s just a little bachelor party for a few now, but it would have been a big show back then.’’