Te Waka a Maui #8 -Kaikoura

Kaikoura is another of those places with a special magic. It is a pretty piece of coast - very pretty - but its main claim to fame is the abundance of marine life due to the rich food source in the nearby undersea Hikurangi Trench. Plenty to do - we had a great day and a half there - but we needed longer, and this was our last major stop in the South Island. Next time maybe.

We arrived late on a beautiful day and watched the birds and seals at sunset at the end of the Kaikoura Peninsula, just outside the town. Next day we went back and spent a long day walking all around the cliffs and bays, practically tripping over dozing seals and chasing after all kinds of birds, trying to photograph them. We scrambled up a steep path that got a bit scary near the top of a cliff. And after all the exercise, we lunched by the road, where an enterprising couple had set up a barbecue restaurant with a bunch of folding tables - and very nice crayfish it was too.

Later we had to get a move on to get closer to Picton, and our ferry. So on we went up the coast, past the deserted beaches and the salt works at Grassmere, past the restored cob cottage in Blenheim, and on to our last DOC campsite at Rarangi. Then, in the morning, around the back road to Picton, following the coast of Cloudy Bay and Queen Charlotte Sound.

Click on a photo for a larger image and a slide show.

  • 01 Approaching Kaikoura from the south
    01 Approaching Kaikoura from the south
  • 02 This one looks like a lawyer
    02 This one looks like a lawyer
  • 03 And the sea here is so blue
    03 And the sea here is so blue
  • 04 Just modelling a fine coat
    04 Just modelling a fine coat
  • 05 The sophisticate .. prefers the sleek look
    05 The sophisticate .. prefers the sleek look
  • 06 And this one just wants to sleep
    06 And this one just wants to sleep
  • 07 The Seaward Kaikoura Range from Kaikoura peninsula
    07 The Seaward Kaikoura Range from Kaikoura peninsula
  • 08 It is a rocky coast and it looks volcanic
    08 It is a rocky coast and it looks volcanic
  • 09 Lots of rocks
    09 Lots of rocks
  • 10 And lots of wldlife
    10 And lots of wldlife
  • 11 Surrounded by crashing waves
    11 Surrounded by crashing waves
  • 12 Despite the turmoil it is peaceful at the end of day
    12 Despite the turmoil it is peaceful at the end of day
  • 13 And as the wind dies the toi toi grasses are still
    13 And as the wind dies the toi toi grasses are still
  • 14 Lit by the long rays of the lowering sun
    14 Lit by the long rays of the lowering sun
  • 15 Last chance to forage
    15 Last chance to forage
  • 16 Inspecting the larder
    16 Inspecting the larder
  • 17 For us there is the big tin fish
    17 For us there is the big tin fish
  • 18 The Pink Palace
    18 The Pink Palace
  • 19 Sleeping in comfort ... sleeping anyway
    19 Sleeping in comfort ... sleeping anyway
  • 20 Well nourished geese
    20 Well nourished geese
  • 21 Humans explore here too
    21 Humans explore here too
  • 22 Revving for take off
    22 Revving for take off
  • 23 Landing here must be painful on the feet
    23 Landing here must be painful on the feet
  • 24 Family day at the seaside
    24 Family day at the seaside
  • 25 Where is my lunch
    25 Where is my lunch
  • 26 Tending the water garden
    26 Tending the water garden
  • 27 Thinking upon the brief
    27 Thinking upon the brief
  • 28 Cliff walk before lunch
    28 Cliff walk before lunch
  • 29 Lunch
    29 Lunch
  • 30 Shoreline colours
    30 Shoreline colours
  • 31 Only footprints to be seen
    31 Only footprints to be seen
  • 32 Pretty but deserted
    32 Pretty but deserted
  • 33 It is a lonely but restful shore
    33 It is a lonely but restful shore
  • 34 And more footprints
    34 And more footprints
  • 35 Looking back to Kaikoura
    35 Looking back to Kaikoura
  • 36 Lake Grassmere
    36 Lake Grassmere
  • 37 Cob cottage in Riverlands area near to Blenheim
    37 Cob cottage in Riverlands area near to Blenheim
  • 38 End of the day from Riverlands
    38 End of the day from Riverlands
  • 39  on the road to Port Underwood
    39 on the road to Port Underwood
  • 40 Approaching Queen Charlotte Sound
    40 Approaching Queen Charlotte Sound
  • 41 Queen Charlotte Sound and Cook Strait
    41 Queen Charlotte Sound and Cook Strait