Day 23. Long slow drive to Kaikoura on highway 1 southbound from Christchurch, the road still being repaired/strengthened three years on from the massive 7.8 earthquake. The sheer scale of the work is nothing short of heroic. Although lots of speed restrictions, stop/start at lights – or by smiling workers, you appreciate the beauty of this coastal route more as you realise the superhuman effort it took to get the road open as soon as three months after.
The point Farm camp…our base for one night. Fresh eggs for breakfast as well as some to take away and a pitch looking out over the Pacific Ocean. Walk out to…..
Kaikoura Peninsula Track…2 hour return 3.86 miles.
Unlike last time we were here – seals laying on boardwalks – we had to go looking on the raised sea bed, another result of the earthquake. The seals blend in well with the rock they haul themselves out on, perfectly camouflaged from all us day trippers. It was good to see everyone respecting their privacy and keeping a fair distance away.
Moving away from the shore back to The Point Kean car park, we started our assent.
Views out all the way, from the rugged east coast backdrop, steep mountains, and seaward the Kaikōura range.
Dropping down a track to Whalers Bay shoreline, more seals were to be found laying still, most fast asleep, conserving energy before they head out to sea at night to hunt.
Red billed gulls in their thousands, the largest colony on the South Island.
A lone Cormorant on the move – very quickly!
We walked back along the shore and the raised sea bed.
Back to our farm base and some runaway sheep!
Another beautiful sunset…
Day 24 The whale watching we had booked for 9.30am and subsequent slots were cancelled due to rough seas although looking from the shoreline it looked calm, peaceful and twinkled in the sun. Having experienced the excursion last time, a refund was accepted leaving us free to start early our next drive on the reopened – was still shut three years ago – State Highway 1northbound, stopping off along the route to….
Ohau Point Lookout…more fur seals, but this time in the shelter of the mini pools surrounded by rocks, baby fur seals practising their swimming skills in the safety of these natural ‘play pens’.
Marfells Beach DOC campground. We arrived early even with the ongoing road works on Highway One to warm sun and another sea view pitch.
A walk along the shell strewn beach, as well as the now familiar bleached white tree debris.
Long-suffering found the perfect shell, beautiful markings and not a chip on it….
Seascape practice in watercolour!
Sunset rays resemble search lights…..