Blogs from Kaikoura, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania


Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura March 29th 2024

We flew early to Christchurch in the South Island from Auckland after a terrible night sleep in a beautiful boondock spot along the bay just minutes from the city center. Unfortunately some partygoers decided to get raging drunk and were smashing beer bottles during the night. There's always one night of idiots while boondocking, let's hope that was it for the trip. We picked up our beautiful 17 ft. Toyota campervan that would be our home for the next 11 days. It was a huge upgrade for us, our first van being functional but this being cozy and luxurious by comparison. We drove a few hours north up the coast ending at the seaside town of Kaikoura. This town is one of the best places on earth to snorkel with dolphins in the wild and the ... read more
The perfect camp spot

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura March 16th 2023

Once we had calmed down after our arrival with the police, we unpacked, delirious to be staying in one place for four nights. The hostel was great...a bit of a shlep from the town centre but with a private shower and loo and a really great kitchen and dining room. And a launderette next door..... heaven! We spent our first day exploring in the rain and walked out to the Pier resturant for supper. Idyllic situation and fab seafood chowder for supper. Miles to walk home though! The weather wasn't brilliant on that first day (very windy with poor visibility) and all swimming with dolphins trips cancelled. Eek we were booked the next morning. Website showed weather being better the following day but advised that sea would be choppy. Sealegs pills advised and purchased…. We reported ... read more
Our playmates. ...
Dolly the dolphin

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura March 12th 2023

A brush with the Law! After surviving the Clarence expedition Jan and I were due to catch a bus south to Kaikoura whilst Jamie and Ellie drove back to Nelson for work the next day. We had 2 hours to wait for the bus so we decided to try our luck at hitching again. Things were looking bleak after half an hour and few cars, but our saviour appeared in the guise of an old banger which veered off the main highway with some skidding to boot. Jayden welcomed us into his world. As the conversation evolved we learnt that he was currently unemployed. He'd been in and out of prison all his life. Jayden had a perturbing habit of drifting into the middle of the road and then suddenly overstearing into the nearside. He'd been ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura November 30th 2022

This morning we were booked on the 10.00am Whale Watch Kaikoura Tour which was a very civilized time. Having stayed in Kaikoura overnight we didn’t have to be up early or be stressed about traffic and road conditions that might affect us arriving on time. After a leisurely breakfast we packed up the car and made our way over to the Whale Watch depot about 9.45am. It turns out the sailing time is a little bit fluid with 10.00am merely the time that they start checking you in. The actual sailing time was dependent on when the 7.15am sailing returned to port and that depended on where and when the whale activity was earlier this morning! Not to worry, it all happened eventually. Bernie splurged when he booked and paid the extra for us to sail ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura November 29th 2022

So lovely to sleep properly in a bed! After very little sleep in the last 24 hours Bernie slept like the dead and I slept OK. I was awake about 3.30am, which is pretty normal for me, but then went straight back to sleep until about 6.40am. This morning we made ourselves a light breakfast in our room with the fruit, cereal and yoghurt we purchased at the supermarket yesterday afternoon. After said breakfast we re-packed the car and set the SatNav for Hanmer Springs. We were on the road just after 8.00am which was a little earlier than we needed to be, but it’s always better to be ahead of schedule than behind. Our trip up to Hanmer Springs was uneventful apart from some roadworks and a shower of rain. It was just after 10.00am ... read more
Driving over the mountains
Hikurangi Marine Reserve
Fur seal

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura November 22nd 2022

What a difference a day makes (and a decent night’s sleep!) After what felt like a very long day yesterday, we had a nice quiet night in our motel room and managed to get a good nights sleep. We awoke today feeling very refreshed and with the added bonus of sunshine peeking in the curtains, which made a pleasant change from the endless rain we had yesterday! As we left the motel, the owners mentioned the drive down the coast was lovely, and specifically recommended a bay about an hour away where you could see the seals. Armed with this knowledge, we jumped in the car, sunglasses on, windows down and set off on our way. The drive down to Christchurch was about 3.5hrs according to the sat nav, but we probably took 3hrs to do ... read more
2. Mororimu Totem
3. HIlls and Blue Sky, Mororimu
4. Seals at Ohau

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura November 18th 2022

Bonjour à tous, Je ne me suis pas fait avoir 2 soirs de suite, pour manger, mais c'était juste. Sur la promenade du bord de lac, j'avais vu 5-6 bars restaurants ouverts en journée, j'y suis allé un peu avant 19H, il n'en restait qu'un d'ouvert, évidemment le seul ou je n'avais aucune envie d'aller, chinois, coréen, italien, etc mais contraint forcé, j'ai continué ma cure de pizzas, elle était très acceptable. Je ne mange des pizzas qu'en voyage, en France ç'est très très exceptionnel. J'ai bien négocié, en anglais avec le patron pour avoir mon pdj avant l'heure, 8H45 au lieu de 8H30, résultat 8H05, je décolle. Le temps est très couvert ce matin. Il me faut refaire, les 75km, que j'avais trouvés si agréables en arrivant, avec ces panoramas sublimes sur la baie de ... read more
vue du jour
vue sur Kaikoura

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura February 16th 2020

"I'm travelin' down the road and I'm flirtin' with disaster" Molly Hatchet We have been playing on the fringes with disaster this whole trip. Just before we arrived, worst-ever wildfires ringed Sydney and were burning out of control. The city was full of smoke, and the same was true to a somewhat lesser extent in Melbourne and Adelaide. Just as we arrived, they started to die down as winds fell and some rain relief arrived. We saw no signs of the fires in those cities. Then, during our stay in Adelaide, a cyclone hit the west coast and threatened to bring deluging rains to Adelaide, but we left before it could arrive. Now, having completed this stay in Sydney, we were due to fly to Wellington to begin our New Zealand adventure, and yet another cyclone ... read more
New Zealand 2020 Wellington 015 021520
New Zealand 2020 Wellington 017 021520
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura January 30th 2020

Where to begin? On November 18, 2016 at 12:01 our tour guide reached for the remote to turn off the TV. His wife had just gone up to bed. Before he could press the button the TV went off and then all hell broke loose. The house began to shiver and shake, furniture were careening in all directions and he headed to the kitchen and crawled under the table. Cabinets were flying off the walls, their contents tossed about. The howling noise was like nothing he had ever heard before or wants to hear again. When the shaking subsided he cautiously made his way to the bedroom where he found he wife beside the bed with a five drawer chest on top of her. He was able to get her out from under and they carefully ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura January 30th 2020

It was a beautiful ferry ride from North to South Island. The water was perfectly still, and the lack of waves made for an easy journey. (When Nick did the same thing 18 years ago it was really rough and everyone was throwin up, so he had put a bit of a scare in all of us). The last hour is going through the beautiful fjords, with the most amazing views. That made the adults happy. Inside there was a magic show and a drawing competition. That made the girls happy. Ollie is getting more and more confident and volunteered to get on stage for the magic show, and afterwards, she won the drawing competition and got to spend $10 in the ferry gift shop. Big success! We had booked the probably smallest accommodation yet – ... read more
Marlborough Sound ferry journey
Ollie at the magic show on the ferry
Winner of the drawing competition

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