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Published: August 9th 2017
Geo: -42.4023, 173.681
The problem with New Zealand is that there are too many amazing places and I believe that Kaikoura is high on the list. Being able to use my parents car and them not working worked well for us, so we decided to hit the road for two days and stay one night in Kaikoura.
The plan was to visit Hanmer Springs, known for their hot pools, and then continue on to Kaikoura for a nights camping and see what it had to offer the following day.
We set off early in the morning with a two hour drive to Hanmer Springs, nestled in a valley in the Southern Alps. It is a nice little town but it was quite busy, seeing as it was just after New Years and holidays for a lot of people so families were abundant. We started off on the Conical Hill walk, a short walk with valley views, very nice.
We walked back to the car and drove to a nice park area for some lunch and Pineapple Lumps before hitting the hot pools in my flashy new board shorts from Thailand. It was very busy inside, luckily the facility is quite big and there are
several pools and there was always room to fit in.
The several hot pools range in temperature from Mild to hot, tipping the thermometer at 42 degrees, it was beautiful, but soon the heat was too much and we retreated.
We had bought water slide passes in the form of a green wrist band and had a go at the three water slides and then relaxed in the pools afterwards.
It was pretty relaxing and hard to get out, but we needed to press on to Kaikoura which was a two hour drive through and around mountains and valleys till we emerged alongside the cliff hugging road down south to our campsite.
Our campsite cost us $10 each for the night and basically on the ocean. We pitched the tent and cooked some dinner before passing out for the night. We stocked up on blankets and I don't think I have had a better nights sleep in a tent ever.
It was so nice to wake up to a beautiful clear and sunny day with sea views. We packed the tent and cleaned ourselves up before heading into Kaikoura town. It was early so we thought we would visit the seal colony before it got
too busy. The colours of the sea and the looming mountains behind made the short drive a magical one.
The seal colony wasn't massive, but there were a few lazy seals basking in the sun on a rock island and even a few on the main rock pool area.
We then got a bite to eat for breakfast and did a little souvenir shopping in town and sat at the pebbly beach to soak up the atmosphere and surroundings.
I had never thought that the water would look so blue and it was stunning.
After checking out the information center, we couldn't resist the urge to hire some Kayaks for an hour. We had to wait an hour to use them so we decided to take a drive to the south side of Kaikoura. The beach was lined with plenty of water sport enthusiasts as the day was perfect.
We walked to the top of the hill to the lookout with incredible views over the clear water in front of a small town behind a massive and continuous mountain range.
I just wished we could have a house perched right on the hill right there and then, it would be hard to get
sick of that view.
We drove back in time for the Kayaking on the main Kaikoura bay for an hour. We would stop and just listen and look because it's not everyday you get this great opportunity. As we were pulling in we were being surrounded by hundreds of large fish where they would occasionally jump out from the ocean. It just added to the great feel and time spent in Kaikoura.
After a little scare of almost loosing the car keys, we grabbed a bite to eat before driving back to Christchurch. It was a short time spent but an amazing time spent in Kaikoura. The weather conditions we perfect, the camping experience was perfect, the company was perfect and the scenery was perfect.
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