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Thursday, June 3, 2010

NEW ZEALAND – TOURING SOUTH ISLAND

 

Map picture

The radio DJ announces it's a “glorious day” as I head north towards Kaikoura, I don't disagree.

 

Vineyards M1 north traverses mostly flat lands as it leaves Christchurch but is soon lined with wineries on both sides.

 

Snow Cap In the distance lies green hills with snow capped mountains in the background.

 

 

After a few kilometers M1 changes character with hills to climb, valleys to descend and curves to negotiate.

 

Yellow Mountains Along the way yellow flowers cover hills and mountains like a work of art. I don't miss the opportunity to capture more of the stunning landscape.

 

 

 

 

North Coastline 

Peaking a mountain pass the east coast line comes into view as I begin a curving descent. The beaches present a different beauty here than the earlier ones that I visited.

 

Coastal RocksThe sand is charcoal gray with a crashing surf and isolated rock formations just of shore.

 

 

 

 

White Netting Along some areas of the coast line divers adorn wet suits for spear fishing while further up shore locals participate in “White Net Fishing”.

 

 

I am told by a “fodorite” that there is a limited season for catching white bait which starts about September and goes until end of November. It sell for about $ 90.00 a kilogram so people fish for the season and sell the whitebait to restaurants, fish shops etc. The meat can be made into white bait patties.


Seal Rocks Reaching Kaikoura I make my way to Sea Colony to view sea lions a few yards from shore. There is a small population today with a few pups sliding around on distance rocks.

 

Coincidentally I run into a tour bus driver that I met while having dinner last night in Christchurch and she passes on another site further north that's worth a trip.

 

 
Seafood Stand Leaving Sea Colony a roadside seafood stand presents an opportunity for lunch.

 

 

 

 

Seafood GrillGrilling Hand

 

 

 

 

 

 

NO 19  Order Number

 

 

 

 

 

Grilled Fish With the sounds of crashing waves and chirping birds I enjoy a NZ$7 grilled fish and rice platter.

 

 

 

In town I finish lunch with another NZ$1 per scoop of “Hokey Pokey” ice cream cone.

Seals Napping About 20 minutes north of Kaikoura is Ohau Scenic Outlook where another colony New Zealand sea lions are basking in sun less than one hundred feet from the highway.

 

There is a posted caution for sea lions on the highway during high tides.

Ohau Walk My tour driver tip lies around a curve a few minutes from here at Ohau Waterfall.

 

 

 

Following her suggestion I take a few kiwis with me and walk about 10 minutes to the falls located across the street from the beach.

 

White WaterfallTo my surprise there are kids swimming and playing in the tidal pool below the huge waterfall without parental supervision.

 

 

Their parents are about a quarter mile away basking in the sun!

 

Seal Swimming I toss them a kiwi and it becomes a toy for these sea lion pups.

 

 

 

 

Cute Seal Having broken the ice we curiously investigate each other and I am fortunate to get up close to a sea lion in it's natural habitat.

 

 

 

Flipper I think I even get a smile as I snap a few pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain Pass Heading back south just past Kaikoura I take M70 a slight detour to Christchurch.

 

 

 

 

Snow Cap Mountain

 

Valley StreamThis route takes me towards Hanmer Springs while providing gorgeous close up views of snow capped mountains and deep valleys.

 

 

Sheep Family I pass pastures with sheep grazing and cross many one way bridges.

 

 

 

 

 

One Way Bridge

 

The weather has turned colder and rain is falling as I approach Christchurch with the forecast for snow in the mountains.

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