Kaikoura was one of the best places I have visited. Something that most of you don’t know about me is that I love animals and am a HUGE David Attenborough fan and one of my favourite episodes of his is on the ‘Life’ series. Well today I got to experience first-hand a part of that episode.
Just north of Kaikoura is a secret waterfall where seal pups live from May to October. I walked through the forest and up the stream until I got to the waterfall and there they were. Around 30 seal pups we all frolicking in the pool, diving in and out of the water and jumping off rocks. You musn’t get too close but it was hard not too as they are inquisitive little things, one nearly stole my GroPro! This was honestly one of the most special experiences I’ve ever had, and to see the cute innocent little seal pups playing together in a natural forest pool was my life made.
I also got to go on a whale watching tour while I was there which was brilliant. After my dolphin watching experience in Bali I was a little hesitant to disturb the animals but this tour was great, we were the only ones out there and it didn’t feel like we were intruding on them at all.
The weather wasn’t the best and it’s probably the coldest I’ve ever been but all that went out of the window when I laid eyes on Tutu. A 22 tonne sperm whale who has returned to Kaikoura every winter since 1994 had just resurfaced after feeding and the 5 minutes he was on the surface seemed like 5 seconds and with a swish of his giant fluke he was gone, back down to feed again. Just seeing his sheer size and how calm was, was amazing. We then came across a mixed pod of Dusky and Common Dolphins. Shannon the guide said there must have been around 200-250 dolphins out there surrounding us, again all doing back flips and diving around the boat. For one last treat a Royal Albatross sailed past us, with a wing span of over 3.5 metres it was incredible to see. I couldn’t help but think of Wilbur from ‘Rescuers Down Under’.
After I had thawed out I went to Kean Point to have a look at the seals there. You can literally get up so close to them, they were just lazing around on the walkway and on the rocks really near to the car park not bothered by me whatsoever. Kean Point was really cool, the smell of salt and the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks was so nice so I had a walk along the rocks to check out the giant kelp and the rock pools.
The name means Kai (eat) Koura (crayfish), so that’s exactly what I did and lots of it; all along the front there are places to pick up the freshest seafood and in particular Crayfish (what we call lobster). If you love the seaside, nature and wildlife I would definitely recommend Kaikoura.