Exploring Kaikoura

I’m a sucker for beaches. White, pink and gold sand have always been hot on my radar, and working for The Bahamas for so long, I certainly saw my fair share. On New Zealand’s NE coast, I added a new color to the list – charcoal black.

After spending the night at a cozy hostel in Picton, we drove south through the tiny towns along the highway until we got to the coastal village of Kaikoura.

Kaikoura is the best place in New Zealand to whale watch, swim with wild dolphins, view the giant albatross and get a glimpse of Southern Fur Seals just off the side of the highway.

Despite a ludicrous 5 a.m. start time, several of us signed up to swim with the wild dusky dolphins at Dolphin Encounter Kaikoura because we’d heard it was absolutely the most phenomenal activity on the whole trip. After donning wetsuits, we set out in the boat to search for the dolphins, who were not so keen to be found on this particular day. We searched and searched and searched, and the sea got rougher and rougher. I sat with my eyes closed for the entire ride, desperately willing myself not to hurl. Our whole group had turned green by the end of the ride, and regrettably we never did find any dolphins. According to the captain, it’s quite rare to come up empty like that, so they refunded everyone’s money and we went back to the cafe for hot chocolate and scones.

After the big dolphin disappointment early in the morning, we loaded up the Flying Kiwi bus and set out for the adorable city of Christchurch.

Up next… A Whole Lot of Shaking Going On

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  • February 23, 2011

    Aww man, that sucks that you saw no dolphins! I went on a few trips like that in NZ and at least saw some every single time, but I feel your disappointment!

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