Kaikoura Travel Blog› entry 21 of 25 › view all entries
Kaikoura (meaning roughly "Eat Crayfish" in Maori) is known to be one of the best places in the world to view whales. There are Sperm Whales here all year round, there are also many other whales that visit during the rest of the year - Blue Whales, Southern Right Whales (which we had seen at Peninisular Valdes in Argentina) Minke whales and Humpback Whales amongst others. The deep shelf leads to a sudden and dramatic drop in sea depth which makes it a very good feeding ground.
We had an early start (although the benefit of this was to see the sun rise over the Pacific) before being hearded on to a bus and heading to the boat. It wasn't long before we were out at the right sort of depth and Captain Jim used his whale locating tool to listen to them "singing" in the depths (and hopefully soon on the surface!) and eventually we saw the white spray of the blowhole of a whale on the surface.
Despite us having seen whales before, it was every bit as exciting to see these magnificent creatures again. We saw 4 whales doin' their thang, seemingly unbothered by the presence of the boat before we headed back to land. On the way. we saw a pod of Dusky Dolphins with a couple of Common Dolphins playing - just like the dolphins in the Doubtful Sound, they came from quite a distance away to come and see us and play around the boat. It is always great to see the dolphins as they always seem pleased to see us and put on a show!
In the afternoon, Jeremy went kayaking with seals.
We walked around the Kaikoura headland, although unfortunately stumbled across a sleeping seal on our patch, which meant that we couldn't get around him and we had to walk all the way back - quite a lengthy detour!
Kaikoura really does have a broad spectrum of marine life, from the massive whales right down to the creatures in the huge rockpools. A nature-lovers dream destination! We were surprised at how much Kaikoura had to offer - it is in a very pretty setting with beautiful views around the headland and over to the Kaikoura mountains.
After a few nights here we headed back down through the Canterbury Plains to Akoroa, which was to be our last stop outside Christchurch before we head off to Sydney and on to Asia.