Thursday, November 3

Christchurch to Kaikoura

A seal at the colony at Kaiakoura -click on the photo to enlarge.

Today we travelled to Kaikoura which means in Maori means Food Crayfish. EGG KAI =Food and KOURA =Crayfish.

We were struck by the unusual landscape, different to the rest of New Zealand as snow clad mountains meet up directly with seashore. Kiakoura is on a peninsular that juts out into the Pacific Ocean from the 2600 metre high Kiakoura Mountain Ranges.

Around Kaikoura are the remnants of 15 individual fortresses and lookouts, set up by the Maori tribes and evidencing fierce battles against invaders hoping to gain a foothold in this settlement as Moa numbers declined elsewhere. That's what the local museum said.

To day its a popular holiday resort and a world famous as a feeding ground for those gentle giants of the deep, what must be the grandest creatures on earth, the giant sperm whales. They had nearly been hunted to extinction, but whether they now survive the fresh hazards of ocean pollution I guess is unknown. We were booked to go whale watching but unfortunately the seas were too rough, better luck I hope tomorrow !! click here to view whalewatch

To day we did sight fur seals, unconcerned and just metres from us.

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