Kiwi Experience Day 17 and 18 – ‘Seal’ing the Deal on South Island
2nd-3rd October 2012
After checking out Christchurch yesterday and this morning, I baded an emotional farewell to Henning who’s travelled with me since Taupo as he’s going to Sydney from here, and boarded on the bus with brand new people to finish off my Kiwi Experience. Only a few days left sob sob sob.
In the late afternoon, we left Christchurch to head north over the Canterbury Plains to Kaikoura, our next stopover.
Although I didn’t do this, I heartily reccommend that you get off an spend an extra day and night to take advantage of the amazing activities Kaikoura has to offer. The only reason why I didn’t stay because I was running out of time for my stay in New Zealand and needed to get back to Auckland for my flight and also I wanted to spend a couple more days in Wellington after only spending an alcohol fuelled night there.
So what activities does Kaikoura has to offer?
Swimming with Dolphins!
Swimming with Seals!
Absolutely a wildlife haven spot indeed. I was so gutted that I couldn’t get to do these but I will view this as a reason to come back to New Zealand!
Kaikoura used to be the South Island’s best kept secret. For CrayFish. That’s what kaikoura means…’to eat CrayFish’. Today, the crayfish is still awesome but it’s always the whale watching and dolphins that seems to be the biggest draw.
Determined that I would make use of my time in this delightful spot of South Island, I turned to my new mates, Darius and Danielle and we agreed to scale the peninsula that juts out into the sea to catch the sunrise the next day. It was already late and after a feisty rude game of Jenga with the other kiwi crew, we settled in to sleep in one of the many rooms of the Lazy Shag Backpackers.
Waking up the next morning at the ungoldly hour of 5am, we crewed up some coffee and scaled the peninsula right to the top to greet some startled blearly eyed sheep and then stand on Kaikoura’s Sewage Treatment Works to get the best view possible. The view was absolutely stunning. You can see the township overshadowed by the seaward Kaikoura Range that are snowcapped. Even the sea could be heard giving their majestic roars. We were pretted stoked (kiwi slang for ‘very happy chappy’). Check out the sweet pics.
As our buys was leaving at 8.30am, we had to hightail it down the peninsula and get back to the township as quickly as possible. But we still had enough time for Darius and Danielle to laugh at me as I spluttered curses while I swam in the arctic conditions of a sea. It was so cold that I thought my heart stopped. Even my nipples were hard enough to hang shirts on them!
Luckily, we caught the bus in time and headed to our next destination stopover…Wellington! Yes, my stay in the South Island is over! I’ve had the time of my life on this island and I did feel that I should have stayed longer but again, I will view this as an opportunity to come back to New Zealand again. I’ve massively enjoyed all the activities I’ve done starting with Abel Tasman Park, followed by chinwagging with the local rugby team at Wesport, getting up to no good at the Poo Party. Of course, I’ll never stop remembering Queenstown and Milford Sound but it will be my Bungy Jump that I’ll remember the most!
But first, we stopped off at Ohau Point for a great surprise! Transversing the waterfall path, we came up to a pool of water that had…BABY SEALS! Their mothers have left them here while they go out hunting for fish. Everyone ahhhhhed and we couldn’t believe how awesome they were with their frolicking, playing and definitely showing their characters through! For me, this definitely ‘sealed’ the deal. (Sorry Guys!) Check out their awesome pics.
Unfortunately, we had to leave them..and I better have done before I smuggled one in my backpack. Climbing aboard back on the bus, we stopped off in Picton to wait for the ferry. It was time to leave the South Island.
The ferry ride again, proved to show the stunning views of Queen Charlotte Sound and I chilled out with my new mates I met from the bus, Darius, Danielle and Bente.
Arriving in Welly, we checked in to Nomads Capital Hostel and checked out the nightlife of Wellington (again!) with the help of some pool! Great night indeed but we needed to be up soon if we wanted to walk up Mount Victoria, Wellington’s mountain, early in the morning!