Kaikoura and the Whales

After a ridiculously early start this morning, waking up at about 5, I hopped on my tour bus and headed for our first stop, Kaikoura! This place has completely blown me away and it’s only stop one.

Kaikoura was devastated by a 7.8 earthquake in November of 2017 and as a result was cut off from the rest of New Zealand and people were evacuated. The South Island is still slowly drifting north from this earthquake! The roads were completely destroyed and tourism is only now returning to the city. The only hint at the earthquake now is the sheer cliffs from landslides and the sharp rocks pointing out of the ocean. It’s nestled on a peninsula with rolling mountains meeting the bright blue ocean. The town itself is quite small for the amount of tourism but it was never overwhelming.

I decided to do whale watching today which was amazing! I caught a glimpse of three sperm whales, the “Moby Dick” whales, which average about 18 meters in length. They also see using echolocation, extremely powerful echolocation, which they also use to hunt their food. When hunting, the “clicks” they use are around 230 decibels; to put that into perspective, a rocket launch is around 203 decibels. This sound wave could break every bone in your body so you see why they use this in hunting. They eat giant squid, mako sharks, and have even eaten great whites! However, they do not eat other mammals even though they 100% could. They choose not to and we don’t understand why.

I also got to see dolphins, dusky dolphins to be specific. They are wonderful to watch, such playful animals. They would chase the waves and hop around the boat seemingly showing off their acrobatic abilities. We also saw one fur seal enjoying the summer sun.

I will attach the beautiful pictures I have taken today but they do not do it justice. The distant snow capped mountains against the bright green rolling hills running down to meet the ocean is just something I cannot describe to you or even what a picture can get across.

I’m heading to Picton tomorrow and catching the interislander ferry to Wellington tomorrow. Who knows what tomorrow holds but I am living the dream guys!

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