Leaving Christchurch for Kaikoura we made a pit stop in Cheviot for a coffee and breakfast. We didn’t really get to explore the town, it seemed to be just a highway service spot surrounded by a lot of sheep farms.
Kaikoura is known for it’s abundance of marine life due to the Hikurangi Trench. For this reason we had planned to go dolphin swimming as there are a number of large pods giving a greater opportunity to actually get in the water compared to when we went on our tour in Paihia. Unfortunately at around NZD175 (c. £100) each we couldn’t justify the cost and we thought since we’d swam with dolphins during our tour of The Catlins, we didn’t really need to do it again. That’s not to say if the opportunity arose again we wouldn’t, it was just far too expensive for us at that point in our trip.
We stayed at the Dusky Lodge and Backpackers in a private double room with an ensuite bathroom. The hostel had three kitchens, one on each floor, which made meal times a breeze compared to other places we had stayed. It also had a beautiful view over the mountains which were to the rear of the property. The only downside of the hostel was it was around a 15 minute walk from all the main shops and bars within the town itself. On the plus side it was only over the road from the main supermarket. You win some, you lose some.
Other than exploring the town and wandering along the beach we didn’t really get up to much. We did try and go to a pub quiz but it was cancelled because of poor turnout thanks to the torrential downpour.
From Kaikoura we began our journey back north. As the Kiwi Experience bus retraces a number of stops we’ve already spoken about, we only have one more post left to bring you on from our visit to New Zealand. For now, we thought we’d share our last point of call before heading back for the ferry, Ohau Point Seal Colony. We didn’t have time to follow the trail into the rainforest but we did get to see whole families chilling out on the rocks.