SIRT 9 Hanmer Springs and Kaikoura 42:21.7S, 173:42.3E
North of Christchurch we headed back inland for a quick visit to Hanmer Springs, a thermal resort and adventure centre with bungy jumping, white water rafting and descents in inflatable canoes and mountain biking in the hills. We didn’t go for any of these but for some walking and a campsite in the woods. Mainly pine forest here with a number of different pines and a good display of large and bright toadstools.
The town itself was quiet as we walked through in the afternoon everyone was probably soaking in the pools or being adventurous.
Autumns on its way.
Bright Toadstools in the woods.
The next morning we backtracked slightly then followed the inland road to Kaikoura. This road and the main SH1 were badly damaged by the earthquakes and they are still being remade, the inland route is longer but the road is open at all times, the SH1 is closed at night as major works are being carried out.
At Kaikoura the seabed drops off a short way offshore to more than 800m and there is an upwelling of nutrients which encourage marine life to abound here. Whales, Dolphins, Seals, Penguins and numerous types of seabirds from little Petrels to the large Royal Albatross. We had a two hour whale watching trip and saw a Sperm whale, Blue whale and a large school of Dolphins, both Dusky and Common.
Sperm Whale on the surface having just blown,
Ready to dive,
here she goes,
And our best sight of a Blue Whale.
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