We could easily have spent a few weeks in the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park, but the following morning we left for Kaikoura.
We don’t seize to be amazed at the different landscapes – at one point you are going through luscious mountains bursting with plants, and one hour later everything is bare and sand coloured like a desert. The stretch North of Kaikoura was impressive – gorgeous coastline with cliffs dropping into the water, and huge waves breaking against them in crystal blue water. We stopped several times to just stand there, gazing at the view – and also we loved to see the New Zealand fur seal colonies that gather in the area a few kilometres North of Kaikoura – they’re in the second picture below, if you look closely.
Our campsite in Kaikoura had a swimming pool, and the girls needed to unwind for a while, so we had a slow afternoon in the campsite.
Next morning we walked to the Whale Watch office, as we were going out to hopefully see sperm whales. The boat moved quickly around on the water – they used a hydrophone to listen for the whales either in the surface or on their way up. It didn’t take long before the captain announced in the speakers that we had the first whale nearby, and we should all go outside to see (while sailing, we had to stay inside seated). The whales stay in the surface for 5-10 minutes before they dive again, and then they stay down for 45-50 minutes. It was fun to see the huge animal moving in the water to eventually lift its tail and dive.
After the first sighting, two followed in the next few hours, and we also had albatross circle around the boat, and New Zealand fur seals – jumping as if they thought they were dolphins. The trip was a great experience.
We had lunch in a local café, and spent most of the afternoon in the pool area of the camp site. Later we left in order to check out the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, which is a 3-hour hike. It got a bit too late, and the girls and I were wearing flip flops, which probably should have been at least sandals. Also, Ronja’s flip flop broke on the way, and we had to mend it by using a piece of the strap from the binoculars. It’s a good thing Mads always carries his multi-tool. So anyway, the hike was soooo beautiful – definitely worth every bit of the effort, even if it got a bit late, and especially Frida was very tired when we got back to town.
By the way, the fish and chips at Cooper’s Catch was delicious at about 10.15 p.m. 🙂
I’m new to your blog, but have to say how happy I am to have found it. Your trip looks marvellous, the girls look happy too. It must all be a bit of a culture shock, especially the hot Christmas! New Zealand is fantastic and the south of the south island is just magical. Enjoy yourselves!
Kaikoura was also on my wishlist, but unfortunately didn’t fit into our plans anymore while we were there.
I have done whale watching in Canada once but your experience sounds like a much better one.
Hahaha, I can imagine Mads and his multi-tool, a successful team 🙂