Friday 7th November
Christchurch to Kaikoura, South Island, New Zealand
On Friday morning, we boarded the 7am Coastal Pacific train from Christchurch to Kaikoura, which means “place to eat crayfish” in Maori. This small town, around three hours north of Christchurch, has an incredible setting, bounded by almost-unbelievably blue seas to the east and the Seaward Kaikouras (a mountain range) to the west.
There is a lot of whale-watching here, due to the deep ocean meeting the continental shelf, causing an upwelling of nutrients close to the shore. However, given my aversion to boats we decided against booking such a trip – and were pleased that we had made that choice, when we arrived to find that many of the trips were being cancelled due to rough seas.
Kaikoura Peninsula walk
The weather when we arrived in Kaikoura was amazing, so we took advantage by going out for a 10km walk immediately after dropping off our bags at our hotel.
The walk took us around the peninsula, with fabulous views of the Pacific Ocean, beaches and nearby mountains. There is also a seal colony living there. They aren’t the easiest to spot…we actually thought there weren’t any seals on the shore until another visitor started pointing them out. We then realised there had been one right by where we had been standing!
[photos, from the top: enjoying the view from South Bay; two views as we walked to Point Kean; Seal Colony at Point Kean; the view from the esplanade as we walked back into Kaikoura]
Video of the day
To give you a very small taste of the incredible beauty of this place, I took a 360 degree video of the view at Point Kean in Kaikoura. I was going to say “please excuse the sound of the wind whistling past us”, but in fact that is all part of the experience!