Blogs from Kaikoura, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania


Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura March 16th 2014

Our time on the South Island is already half way through, even more. At the moment we're sitting in the kitchen facility of an exceptionally fancy (for us, that is) campsite, usually we stay at the rather basic DOC campsites, which cost next to nothing, but today we had heard that a cyclon would hit northern parts of the island, and that would mean heavy rains in our area too. Thus, we figured we would get a motel room for the night, but a last minute weather forecast check at the New World supermarket parking lot (they have a good and free wifi) showed that it was a false alarm, so we ended up camping in any case, only a DOC site wasn't available in this town. Camping has become so much nicer since we got ... read more
seals along our way to Kaikoura
Kaikoura peninsula coast
Kaikoura peninsula coast 2

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura February 24th 2014

Kia Ora from the South Island of Aotearoa (Mauri for New Zealand) In one word...WOW! The South Island is truly beautiful. Every single day I saw amazing scenery that really blows your mind away! Hopefully some of my pictures give it justice. Due to the fact I only had a short time in New Zealand, I decided to travel with the Stray bus and only see the South Island. I flew from Auckland and flew down to Christchurch. As my flight from Christchurch was early in the morning, I decided to sleep at the airport...worse nights sleep of my life, huddled on a chair between other travellers! I finally arrived in Christchurch and waited for Stray to pick me up. I met a lovely Dutch girl called Bianca on the bus and we chatted all the ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura December 26th 2013

Hi. Shirley here just to prove I'm still alive Well, this year Xmas was certainly different. Started with a long lie, opened curtains to brilliant sunshine, and quiet breakfast. Missed the noise and chaos of normal Duff family Xmas, and second glass of Bucks Fizz. Kaikoura is a lovely place but little in way of Xmas spirit, ie, no tree or decorations. Went for nice long walk in sunshine, had crisps and bottle water for lunch looking out to sea for further albatross or fur seal sighting. Then returned for that 2nd Bucks fizz on balcony with mince pies. Went out to restaurant for lovely dinner, though not a cracker or tinsel in sight. Had an early start today to go on whale watch trip. 05.30 start...quick glance through curtains reveals a bit of a storm, ... read more
Yep, that IS a sheep!
Aye, mair furry seals
Whale bone archway, Kaikoura

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura December 24th 2013

Wishing you all a very happy Xmas from Down Under. Hope youse have all finished your shopping, trimmed your trees (isn't that a daft verb?), chopped your logs, set your fires, lit your tables, brandied your puds, minced your pies, and defrosted the bird in readiness for the annual stuffing. Missing you all and wish that we could be with you (but only if you can come to us)…..there's plenty room down here! Seriously though, have a wonderful time and try not to worry about us...we'll cope! Love. Ross & Shirley. XX... read more
Hark, etc etc
ho ho ho etc
Merry Xmas

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura December 21st 2013

Saturday 21st December, 2013. Kaikoura, South Island, New Zealand Today was a 'spare' day as we had allowed two days for the whale watching in case there were any weather or other issues. We decided that we would spend the day walking the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway (or at least some of it). The walkway (KPW) is a joint community project shared between a number of eco-concious organisations. It starts at the town centre and goes to Point Kean, across the cliff tops to South Bay where it returns to the town via Toms Track. The total walk is 11.7 kms. We were already half way from the town to Point Kean due to the location of the YH (so saved ourselves 2.2 k's before we even started! The Peninsula is rich in Maori tradition and early ... read more
23. Kaikoura Seafood BBQ, Armers Beach
26. Let Sleeping Ducks Lie - Fyffe Quay
29. M with Fur Seal, Point Kean, Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway


Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura December 20th 2013

Friday 20th December, 2013. Alpine Pacific Triangle Drive & Whale Watch Trip We left Hanmer Springs fairly promptly as we had a whale watching tour booked for 3 pm this afternoon in Kaikoura. On the way out of town we stopped at the Waiau river Bridge Lookout again and took some more pictures. It is amazing how much prettier everything looks in the sunshine. We continued with the Alpine Pacific Triangle Drive and made our way down to the coast to Gore Bay which is a coastal settlement close to Chiviot on the South Island. From 1856 Gore bay was used as the gateway into the historic Cheviot Hills property owned by William ‘ready money’ Robinson. Small coastal vessels anchored in the bay bringing essential supplies, materials and passengers. Surf boats were used to ferry goods ... read more
14. M at Gore Bay
17. Cathedral Cliffs
20. D at the Cathedral Cliffs, Gore Bay

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura July 14th 2013

The view form our overnight camp included the sea crashing against some rocks and a rather spectacular waterfall crashing to the ground beside the road. We drove for twenty minutes before we arrived at “the Whaleway Station,” where we were hoping to catch a whale watching boat. The day before many of the boats had been cancelled due to the torrential rain. Luckily we were in for, well not plain sailing (a severe seasickness warning had been issued), but a good chance of seeing a sperm whale. We both took the necessary precautions of a Sturgeron tablet my mother handily provided us with, before attending a safety briefing. About twenty minutes from the shore our captain came to a halt and lowered a hydrophone into the water to listen for the sounds of nearby whales. Having ... read more
Fur Seals
Whale number one expelling air
Whales off the starboard bow

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura May 19th 2013

The rain continued but not enough to put a halt to anything. In the morning I got the bus north to Kaikoura, seabird capital of the world. About halfway is St. Anne’s Lagoon, a small lake just out of Cheviot, which is home to the only “tickable” Cape Barren geese in New Zealand. There has been a population breeding here for at least several decades, and they are the only ones in the country for which you don’t need to fill out a UBR (Unusual Bird Report) if you see them. Of course the bus doesn’t stop at the lake for any passengers who happen to be birders, but if you are lucky you can sometimes spy one or two grazing as the bus roars past, as I did. The lake is worth a visit if ... read more
Gibson's albatross (Diomedea gibsoni)
Southern Buller's albatross (Thalassarche bulleri)
White-faced heron (Ardea novaehollandiae)

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura May 9th 2013

Trans Alpine Railway and Kaikoura. We left Franz Joseph by 0900 hours after collecting the video of the Kayak session. Our aim was to get to Greymouth by 1300 hrs. On the way we stopped at a few view points to see some waterfalls, a bridge where you could get a magnificent view of the snow capped moutains, and again at a sea side supposed to be a surfers paradise (only a couple of people surfing). Again the scenery on the way was unbelievably beautiful, I keep repeating that, between the mountains, rivers and the rain forest. Then we stopped at a small seaside town, Hokitika, famous for works in jade and we had a chance to see the craftsmen at work. Some of the group bought small items as souvenirs which were symbols of Maori ... read more
Kaikoura 2
Not  a classic dive
Sperm Whale

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura April 27th 2013

Kaikoura, ist bekannt für viel „Wildlife“ im Meer, Wale, Delphine, Robben und deren entsprechende Nahrung (z.B. Langusten = Koura). Nach dem Bezug unseres heimeligen B&B, Gastgeber Kylie und Luke, sind wir dann am nächsten Morgen auch gleich mit einer Bootstour zum Whalewatching aufgebrochen, Erfolgsquote 98%, Geld-zurück-Garantie. Nun gut: zunächst, nach etwa 10 Minuten Bootsfahrt, begegneten wir einer großen Kolonie Schwarzdelphine, ca. 60-80, die in unmittelbarer Nähe des Bootes auf Jagd waren und uns dabei mit Sprüngen und Rückwärtssalti belustigten. Im weiteren Verlauf konnten wir – trotz ausgefeilter Kommunikation der verschiedenen Walbeobachtungsboote untereinander – leider keinen der anvisierten Pottwale finden. Wir machen halt eine exklusive Reise und gehörten somit zu den 2% ohne Wale :-(. Die Crew war sichtlich enttäuscht – und dann plötzlich begeistert: ... read more
Dusky Dolphin - Schwarzdelphin

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