Are you prepared for copious amounts of marine mammals?!
Day 17: Kaikoura
One of the “Must Do” activities on most New Zealand websites is to swim with the dolphins in Kaikoura, on the east coast of the South Island. Now, I’m not a fan of the open ocean- let alone when the area you’re swimming in is an UNDERWATER CANYON. I’m also not a fan of dolphins, as I think they’re probably too smart for their own good and are bigger than I am. So I wasn’t truly looking forward to this particular activity.
Ian, on the other hand, was super stoked about the idea of getting to swim with a bunch of dolphins BECAUSE they’re smart and BECAUSE we’re on the open ocean and BECAUSE they’re as big as he is. So we had differing opinions on the subject.
I am, however, so glad that we did it. It was an amazing experience and there’s no way you can be prepared for this:
(Here’s what it looks like under the water *note- not my video, but this is what we saw while swimming!)
After the dolphin swim, we were pretty exhausted, but had a couple more stops we wanted to make to local art galleries and shops. We had also heard there was a seal colony somewhere close so we went there, too. It’s called the Ohau Waterfall Walk.
We headed to Blenheim after that but had dinner in Picton at a place called Thai Panda– which was really good!
Day 18: Havelock
Havelock was on our list because of the Mussels and Seafood Festival. I love mussels, Ian loves mussels, we love food. It was great! It was also a much better bargain for your buck since they had meal portioned foods rather than just samples. We really loved this festival a lot.
We finished there around 1:30pm and were sufficiently full. But we were in the heart of NZ wine country! We elected to take the Marlborough Wine Trail and try some wines- we had a great time! Ian chauffeured me around since he doesn’t drink and I bought some really interesting wines from the Fromm Winery and the Huia Vineyards.
That night we took it easy and wanted a taste of home so we got some Burger King (the closest tasting to our fast food chains of all the ones we’ve tried) and I slept when we got home because wine.
Next up: Even more driving.