After the rain in Kaikoura – Sunday 4th March 2012


Moving on day! But it’s only a short trip from Hanmer to Kaikoura.

New Zealand is riddled with rivers, springs, and streams. Apart from the glacial blue water (which I know I keep going on about!) as differentiated from the pale clay colour rivers, the main feature of these is their width. At some point, regularly I suspect, each river must take up its full girth, but mostly we see a narrow river channel cutting its way through broad smooth grey stones on the river bed. I’ve often commented that these stones are so clean! There is no hint of moss, no silt; when the waters do come they do a wonderful job at cleaning the stones.
Today, however, the Hanmer River is approaching its full width. Tons of rainwater flash over the stones. You begin to see how whole trees are carried along the river bed. We stop frequently on our journey to observe this change.

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Kaikoura has grown up around whaling. These days the tourist industry is focused on its incredible deep undersea ravine, which is responsible for the abundant sea life. All year round there are whales; many different kinds of whale have been seen in the area, but the most predictable are the Sperm whale. In addition dusky dolphin, fur seals, sea lions all grace the shores.
Even the restaurants thrive from the sea, with crayfish being the star attraction.
We book a whale trip for tomorrow, settle into our lovely apartments on the waterfront and decide to go for a walk.
The peninsular has stunning scenery and a circuit that takes about 3 hours. John is under the illusion that it is a one hour walk because he has not added the segments together.
We get up close and personal with some sealions who find the car park an attractive place to rest.

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Stop for a crayfish fritter from a caravan cafe on the beach front, delicious! Get wonderfully blown about on top of the cliffs and find it a really exhilarating walk.

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We reflect, yet again how lucky we are as we sip our gin and tonic on the verandah of our new apartment overlooking the sea and the snow clad mountain. The snow has come two months early this year in NZ but it looks totally wonderful as the sun shines on it. We hope tomorrow will get the best photos, so you will have to wait for those!

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