Sunday, May 16, 2010


On our recent trip, we spent a Saturday driving along the northeast coast of the South Island and visiting Kaikoura. The drive from Blenheim to Kaikoura took about 90-120 minutes and about half of the drive was right on the coast with beaches on one side of the road and mountains on the other. It was stunning!

Kaikoura is a small town of about 4,000 residents that sits on a little peninsula. The marine system offshore of Kaikoura is a rich habitat for marine mammals, including seals, dolphins, and whales. Historically, Kaikoura was a center for whaling and fishing. In the past 10-20 years, it has become a tourist destination, popular for whale watching tours. We didn't go on a whale watching tour, which basically guarantee viewing a whale, but we did see a small pod of dolphins jumping in the surf when we first arrived in town. We also saw thousands of seals, which the kids really liked.

Kaikoura is one of our favorite spots that we've visited in New Zealand so far.

View from the peninsula toward the Seaward Kaikoura Range that has peaks above 2,500 meters (8,000 feet)

The whole family

Seals taking in the morning sun (they were less than 100 feet from the parking area)

Alisa and Maya with sleepy seals in the background

This seal was waddling back to the water

Another view of the mountains

These rocky platforms were loaded with seals

Maya playing shy of the camera

The kids really enjoyed our hour-long walk on the beautiful trail at the tip of the peninsula

The trail crossed onto some farm land, so a staircase had been built to clear the fence

Maya in foreground and Alisa in the distance (the weather was perfect for our walk)

Max with a beautiful little bay in the background (there were seals everywhere on the rocky platforms along the water below)


  1. You need to blow up that last picture and make it a mural in your living room...or maybe mine.

  2. Your drive sounded beautiful! Reminded me of Highway 1 in California. Nice pictures! Love the stairs over the fence.

  3. If you look carefully in the last photo you will notice that one of the fence posts is actually Max. :)

  4. I think Maya is starting to look even more like you, Alisa.

  5. Thou shall not covet. Thou shall not covet. Thou shall not covet. Thou shall not covet. Thou shall not covet...

    Beautiful pictures Alisa :)