16th April ’12 Christchurch to Kaikora
Today there was no sign of any hitchhikers, it was rather strange! It only took us 3 hours to get to Kaikora, including the little scenic drive diversion to see the Cathedral cliffs – think Bryce canyon only on a minute scale. The road (apart from the diversion) followed the same route as the train, with 3 matching tunnels to get through the mountainside, 2 for cars in each direction and 1 for the train – quite sweet.
Kaikora is a truly lovely little place, nestling on either side of a headland peninsula and with snow capped mountains as a back drop! It’s also THE place to go Whale watching and all things to do with marine life. After finding our motel we decided to go for a walk as it was such a glorious day, sunny, clear blue skies and blue blue sea. We had read about the costal walk and estimates ranged from 2 hours to 3 to 4 to complete it.
The walk started at the seal colony so we parked up and sure enough there were 4 big huge seals basking on the rocks close to the car
Point Kean Seal Colony
park! The path then led straight up the rocks onto the cliff tops, from there we walked along the cliff edge and had the most amazing views down onto rocky bays with crashing waves. At Whaler’s Bay we saw absolutely masses of seals, it was quite a sight I can tell you, at first glance from that height they looked like slugs all over the rocks until you realised they were seals and there were so many of them, amazing!
We carried on just blown away by the views and then the path led down the cliffs with a sheer drop to one side and onto South Bay – this was one of the original Whaling Bays and you could imagine what it must have been like with all the whaling ships moored up in its waters. The route went through the small settlement there and then climbed up again through a forest straight out of LOR, I kept expecting to see Elves and then we were back up on the top of the peninsula again, then back down the other side and out at the town’s edge. From here we walked along the coast convinced we could see
a whale’s tail flipping up out to sea, we stared at that bit of sea for ages and then it appeared as if it was maybe a bit of it’s back. I still hope it was but really I think it was probably just a rock being uncovered by the waves now and then, still I can dream.
By the time we got back to the seal colony car park I was knackered and body parts I didn’t know I had were aching like mad, but I did it, all 6 miles of it up, down and along those cliffs! Now if I could just keep that up and stop eating…….
Meanwhile the seals had decided to have a dip and were floating along on their backs with their tails and flippers in the air!
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