We left Richard and Laura’s (having experienced an earthquake and not realised it) and headed for Kaikoura, north of Christchurch. As forecast, the rain had set in and a steady fall accompanied us for most of the two and a half hour journey.
The drive into Kaikoura
Kaikoura has set itself up as the capital of whale watching and as we approached the town we could see there was more to the area than the huge marine mammals. The road wound down from the mountain and we spent a few miles driving through gaps in the cliff face like a hole from Hastings mini golf.
This gave the drive interest and character as the weather was giving us a stark reminder that had we been less than fortunate our holiday could have been a depressing, overcast break like one of those holidays we have all been on in the UK when the only option is to spend money in the shops to cheer yourself up. Once in the town we headed down to the whale watch centre where we had our final debate about whether we should spend a considerable amount of money to see them and ended up leaving to head further north. We decided that as we were going to be using the Interislander ferry the following day (to re-acquaint ourselves with the Northland) that camping in the nearby harbour town of Picton would be a sensible option.
The older ones that had whiskers good enough for Movember made lots of deep gargling noises admonishing the pups around them.
Now, we were transported to any beach in the world where a parent loses their temper with the kids. To see families interact with each other in the same way we do showed us just how we all have the same basic instincts built in.
Another half an hour later and we arrived back at our stating point on the South Island, the weather a completely different proposition to the clear blue sky’s that had seen us in.
Our penultimate day in New Zealand