Since we were ahead of schedule due to our quick tour of the west coast we decided to head north of Chistchurch to Kaikoura. We made 2 uneventful stops for the night along the way, one in Geraldine and one in Gore Bay before making it up to Kaikoura for 2 nights.
We had booked a Kayak tour for day two, so we took it easy on day one. We went out to the point where there was another seal colony. This one was mostly males and we saw one curious guy come right up into the parking lot!
Next we had heard about another seal colony up the highway about 20 minutes to Ohau where the pups went up the stream to a waterfall to play. So we set off to find it. This was one of the neatest things we had ever seen! The seal pups leave there moms for sometimes days at a time to venture up a stream at least a quarter mile to a small pool under a huge waterfall. You walk the path through the forest for about ten minutes before coming to the end where we found 6 pups plying in the water and 1 on the rocks. The pups were about 10 months old and we watched them jump and play just a foot from us.
As we walked down the path we saw a couple more clumsily making their way up to the waterfall over the rocks and through the shallow stream. They are definitely better in the water at this stage!
The next morning we took our time catching up on emails before heading out to Kayak just after noon. Our guide, Tyler, took us and 5 others out to the South Shore where we spent a couple hours paddling through the sea, around rocks and in and out of bays. We saw lots of seals on the rocks and a couple close by in the water. We even saw an octopus that a seal had just eaten part of floating in the water. It was a nice adventure and a pretty good price since we had booked though a discount site called bookme.
Our last stop before heading back to Christchurch was Hanmer Springs. We decided to try the thermal springs park for some relaxation and weren’t disappointed. We were a little set back by the price at nearly $20 each to enter, but the selection of pools were nice and it felt great to soak our bodies after 20 days in the campervan!