Kia Ora, Kaikoura
Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
371Trip End Feb 26, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Free Camping in a field with a compost toilet
We headed for the I-site in Marlborough and had to wait until it opened, we checked various weather forecasts in reference to Rorie’s e-mail (note it is always Rorie and never Emer perhaps only 50% of the Irish are lazy!!!) before deciding to head to Kiakoura and south before we headed in an anticlockwise direction around South Island (if the weather carried on like this Lady E would be waiting around in Abel Tasman for ages waiting to do her skydive). I guess for many travellers not wanting to pay for a return ferry most fly from Christchurch back to North Island then head out but Kiakoura is awkwardly positioned half way between the ferry ports and Christchurch. Regardless (I’m rambling again) we headed southbound with Lady E banning me from going on a morning wine tasting around the Sauvignon Blanc region (this would probably have meant she would have to drive for a second time in two months god forbid – anyway she promised that we could come back to that). We saw a sign for Kiakoura which told us we were only 100km from the town. This 100km took us 5 hours believe it or not, and not a five hours we ever expected after reading a Lonely Planet (come on LP get your act together!!). We discovered fur seal colony after fur seal colony which being lovers of nature (or in NZ was that Naturism looking back at past photos) we just loved. We even found a fresh water waterfall where baby seals just played all day in Spring (which it is here, sorry Northern Hemisphere) while the mothers went off fishing or sunbathing. It’s difficult to write about or capture such things on photo’s but this place was real magic. I can remember telling R&E that more than I loved watching nature I loved watching Lady E watch nature today was a classic example. I even took to stalking groups of strangers up the path to hear their reactions when they saw this magical sight
Next tip for NZ travellers, be honest with the I-Site traveller places, after booking onto a whale watching tour for tomorrow we headed for the I-Site. Firstly we asked about free camping, they told us it was illegal but pointed out a place on a map near the mountains where nobody has ever been moved on from (now that is what I call advice!!!). We then moved on through the town passed all the mobile chippy wagons selling fresh lobster (caught that day) as well as the usual mussels, oysters, clams and fish kebabs and catch of the day, to a seal colony and perhaps where we would do a 2 hour walk tomorrow if the whale watching is off (which checking previous launches only possibly happens once a week at this time of year). The I-site also gave us a map of the walk to the summits of the snow capped mountains if our whale watching gets cancelled.
We headed to our free campsite to find only one other van there next to a river. We cooked up another red curry but with chicken thighs in front of the best view of snow covered caps I think I have ever seen, and all this in a T-shirt just ridiculous (in my own mind I still can’t figure out why it would be warmer in the south at this time of year than the north but it definitely is I didn’t even need a duvet last night never mind three
I now pick up the blog again a few days later, I was drunk, by 6pm dancing on a table to the Smiths when our fellow campers arrived at camp. I was soon chatting away and playing Frisbee with Benjamen from France and his partner Angelina from Venezuala. I’m not sure what time it was when Erica sent me to bed about 11pm we think after sharing cheese on toast with them in the pitch black.