I often hear that people don`t know if they should travel to Kaikoura or not. Yes, the Highway is still damaged and yes the inland road is a pain in the ass. But to be honest? You are crazy to skip this place from your list!
I always wanted to go there. Since my decision – going to NZ – was made, I planned to go to Kaikoura because I wanted to see the whales and the marine life. And yeah there is no guarantee to see them, but where else are the chances higher? So finally I made it. Totally excited I checked the forecast days in advance. And everyone knows, this summer is not a real summer here in NZ. So of course I had rain, wind, clouds and so on. So I just hoped that the weather is good enough for the encounters to go out. Don`t care if I got seasick.
So I wanted to book a tour with Kaikoura Whale Whatching. But I haven’t had luck. No spare seats left anymore. I could put myself on the waiting list. Well okay. I thought the chances that people don`t go on the tour would be at the earliest one at 09:00a.m. . So I put myself on the list. But I didn`t realized, that the Highway 1 just opens in the daytime. So I couldn`t make it to the one at 09:00a.m.. Damn it! Destiny, what is your plan? I mean I really really wanna go out to see the whales.
Totally frustrated and nervous I arrived shortly before 11a.m. for the next tour. The encounter booked in all the people who had a little bit more brain than me and got valid tickets earlier than one day in advance. And then they put out the waiting list. There where 14 people on the list and 7 seats left. Guys I shit my pants! This is a 50/50 chance for me. Destiny come on! Guess who have been person number 7. Correct – me! So totally over excited I jumped on the boat. I was totally fascinated by the crew and how they taught us lots of information about the marine life and the whales. They told us that the average people will see 1-2 whales during a tour. After a short time they said they hear a whale through the microphone. Well I couldn`t stop myself from screaming “THERE IT IS!!” when I saw the whale.
And that was the minute where the magic happened. That massive sperm whale was beside us in the water, totally relaxed and calm and sooo huge. Oh my gosh people I have never seen anything like this before! After taking his last breath he dived down in the ocean, showing us his massive fin. Happy as a little kid at eastern I thought how cool this experience was. And that I know can enjoy the rest of the trip, seeing the bird life and the coastal view. NOPE. I told you that Ms. Destiny is my best friend? We had the chance to see three more sperm whales. But as if this is not enough we even got the chance to see a humpback with a school of dolphins. All playing together in the water, diving and surfing. That was just – wow! Seeing those creatures enjoying life together was such an amazing adventure. I had that massive smile in my face for a few hours. That is just something you won`t forget in your life. I also got the chance to see seals and albatrosses. So a day full of marine life! The money totally worth it!
But if you don`t want to spend the money on this trip, there are plenty of different activities you can do. So if you want to dive with dolphins or if you want to go out with the kayak, you will find your encounters. You can even fly over the whales which gives you a good opportunity to see the whales completely and not just the tale and the back. But you can also do the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway which is for free and gives you a really good view on the coast. You can even see seals on this walk. My highlight from Kaikoura (beneath the whales)? Driving the SH1 in the morning. Sadly I couldn`t stop to take some pictures. But that moment will be forever in my mind. Thousands of dolphins jumped out of the ocean, enjoying life, playing in the waves. This was just so magical!
So if you like the marine life and beautiful, scenic landscapes – you shouldn`t miss Kaikoura! Kaikoura offers so many activities. I`m sure there is something for you too!
This story was adapted from a blog post, read the original here