05 June 2013


A few weeks ago I visited the lovely little coastal town of Kaikoura for a bit of adventuring and exploring. Within 5 minutes of arriving at the hostel I was told there was a kayak tour leaving from the building next door so I dumped my stuff in my room and ran next door where I and three other people were loaded into a van and driven to a little bay from which we set out on our tour. We were placed in double kayaks, which meant steering was left entirely in the hands of my co-pilot who was in the seat behind me. My kayak buddy was a lovely Spanish lawyer on his honeymoon (his new bride apparently didn't like water sports) whose steering skills left a little to be desired. In spite of having to stop Fernando from steering our kayak directly into floating seals several times the tour was pretty darn amazing. The sun was determinedly shining despite the forecast having predicted rain and we saw plenty of seals, albatross, petrel and even one little penguin floating around in the distance making noises like a chicken.

A seal fin looking suspiciously like a shark fin

Me and my kayak buddy

On day two I walked around the entire peninsula, a walk that takes about 3 hours if you get distracted watching seals sun bathing and stopping to look at the sea like me. The peninsula itself is really beautiful and I was lucky to see the sun again. There are seal colonies living all around Kaikoura so on day two I saw even more seals sunning themselves on rocks, beaches, near carparks and even under trees. Spending so much time looking at seals brought me to the realisation that when seals fight it looks like two giant furry thumbs wrestling.

Shark tooth point

On my last day in Kaikoura I wanted to see a waterfall I'd heard people in the hostel talking about where hundreds of baby seals come to play during the cold Winter months. After asking the receptionist he told me that it was about 20km out the road and that I could borrow one of the hostel bikes if I wanted so I rose early and set off. After several hours of cycling I learned that being a terrible judge of distance is something that other people besides myself suffer from. Nearly 30km and two tired legs later I arrived at the the stream

It was a five and a half hour round trip for 20 minutes spent looking at seal pups playing in a waterfall. Totally worth it. On the way home a ninja seal jumped out from behind a bush and barked at me and nearly sent me flying off my bike. Seals are sneaky.


  1. Random rambling has taken off...its nice...that darkish sea clouded sky and a skeleton of a tree in combination form a nice photograph...we are in a beautiful flight...
    sankar bhadra--

  2. How cute!!!!

    30k? Man, I'm proud of myself for doing 6! hahahaha


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Maira Gall