Today Sebi and Marielle left for the West Coast while we headed south on the eastern side of the island. Our destination for the day was Kaikoura. The road along the east coast is very scenic with a lot of seal colonies just lying on the rocks. We stopped several times to see the seals with their two months young pups. Quite a spectacle.
in Kaikoura we were able to see seals from ever closer. They were
literally just lying in front of the car park and were photographed
hundreds of times by the tourists (including us for sure). A short walk
to the nearby lookout offered breathtaking views of the cliffs and
nearby coast. Later on we pitched our tent at a Kiwi Holiday Park which
even had a hot tub – what else can a traveler ask for.
day was a driving day as we were further moving on down south. After
continuing along the coast for a few more kilometers the road turned
inwards through a lot of farming areas. A very very slow camper van in
front of us drove Hazel almost crazy but once we passed him (after about
30 minutes of Hazel swearing) the journey to Christchurch was smooth.
We stopped in the city for lunch and picked up our iPhone charger which
we had forgotten two weeks ago. Another 170 km later we arrived in
Timaru where we met Semi and Marielle again – it seems we couldn’t get
rid of them that easy.
The next day it was definitely time to
say good-bye to our friends as we continued to Oamaru and our friends
turned inwards towards Mount Cook which we would visit a bit later on
our trip. Along the way to Oamaru we passed thousands of sheep
(apparently there are four sheep for every person in New Zealand).
Oamaru itself was a cute little city (or perhaps big town would be the
better term) with a few Victorian buildings. After sightseeing and
stocking up on food we drove a bit further south to Hampden where we
stayed at the local Kiwi Holiday Park which was by coincidence run by a
Later in the evening we visited the nearby town of
Moraki where we wanted to see the local yellow-eyed-penguin colony.
However what we saw and smelled first was a big group of seals. There
was a covered observation hut from where one could try to spot the
penguins while they were coming back from the open sea. And indeed after
waiting for about twenty minutes we saw two of them waddling along the
small beach and within an hour of waiting we saw perhaps eight of these
On the way back to the car we had a look at another
path of the park which was marked as a track to the local fishing area.
You can imagine that we were quite surprised and amused to discover
that after a few meters at least eight penguins were just standing there
on the walkway (we pitied the other tourists who just went straight
back home from the viewing hut…). For the next hour or so we watched
the penguins from as near as you can get. It was a very very impressive
sight to see this animals from so close and a real highlight.
The last highlight of the day however were the muscles Hazel excellently prepared – what a great day.
next morning started with an ionic icon (what a tongue twister) of New
Zealand – the famous Moraki Boulders. Erosion formed these rocks in an
almost perfectly round shape. An additional highlight there was a tour
group of rather noise (and quite fashionably dressed) Chinese tourists.
few kilometers down the road we stopped at Shag Point for some more
close shots of a seal colony. Afterwards it was time for lunch and so it
was handy that we came to Dunedin one of the bigger cities in the
south. After a yummy Bento Set we had a look at a few old churches and
buildings before we pitched out tent at the local Kiwi Holiday Park
where Kevin managed to drop the camera into the sand – as a result we
have now a new nice camera.