Sunday 15 March 2009

Having a whale of a time in Kaikoura

From Blenheim we headed down the east coast to Kaikoura. On the way we enjoyed some splendid coastal scenery. The latter part of the drive hugged the coastline and we had some fantastic views of the sea pounding on the black sand beaches. The beaches and the ocean on this side of the South Island were again very isolated, but seeing them on a sunny day made them feel a bit less bleak. Just before getting to Kaikoura we drove along a stretch of coastline which was remarkably reminiscent of the west coast of Guernsey, giving us a brief stab of homesickness (for an island that is no longer our home).

We got sorted with accommodation near the town and headed into look around. It is a small town with a cluster of shops on the main street which mostly cater for tourists. After a quick wander along the street we headed to the shore for a look at the sea.

The beach was stones rather than sand and was extremely windy. We had some fun building some pebble towers and seeing who could balance the most stones in a pile before the wind blew it down. We were glad to be wrapped up in our warm coats as it felt more like a winters day out to Ayr than a summers day in the southern hemisphere!

Kaikoura is famous for whale watching excursions but when we looked into the boat trips they do not allow kids under 3, so no good for us! Peter was very disappointed as he loves whales and had been really hoping he would see one, however he made a quick recovery when he realised there was a great play park at our campsite!

Tomorrow we are planning another look at the shops, a cup of tea in one of the numerous cafes and then a walk on the peninsula...and we will take our binoculars just in case!

Photos here.


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