As we approached Kaikoura we saw first hand the devastation caused by last years earthquake. A massive amount of work has already been done but to open the road going north could take another year.
With no plan, we thought we would stop at the information centre. One of the trips we wanted to go on was whale watching and, inquiring if it was possible to get on the trip tomorrow, the answer came back March 8th! "Pardon," says I "No, not for March but for tomorrow"."Sorry" says she "But no places available until March 8th". What we hadn't realised until it was that the seabed around the harbour had risen by as much as a metre and in the bay more than 6 metres. This meant the boats had to rely on the tide before they could leave. A very long waiting list was the result. So then we inquired about an Albatross trip. "Leaving now if your interested," said she. So we paid our money and was promptly whisked away with no time for lunch or drink even though it had gone 1 pm. All we could do was grab a few biscuits, bottle of coke and a banana each to munch on during the 3-hour trip. What we hadn't known was that hot chocolate and New Zealand ginger nut biscuits were also on offer. Very welcome they were too seeing as how cold it was.
|Dredging the harbour|
|Giant Northern Petrels and Southern Albatross|
|Salvin's Albatross on the bottom right.|
|top left, Hutton's Shearwater|
|A brief glimpse of Hectors Dolphin|
Having found another tourist site here in Kaikoura (no freedom camping here) we have gone and booked ourselves on a Dolphin excursion for tomorrow with the hope of seeing a whale. Well, one can dream can't they?