It was dark and freezing when I arrived at Kaikoura but on a plus the bus stopped right outside my hostel; Fish Tank Lodge. The lady on reception was lovely and friendly and the place definitely had a fish tank theme in the lounge area. I dumped bags before heading out for some food, in the way of a fish and chip shop. It was so cold and I was seriously under prepared for it so I headed back to the hostel for a decent night’s sleep. I chose the bed next to the heater and shame the tiny little thing didn’t give off much heat.
The next morning I was chatting to a couple of people; Nellie from the US and Jermaine, a proper Aussie hippy. They both seemed lovely and since we all had the same plan for the day, to do the peninsula walkway they invited me to join them. Stocked up with a hot coffee and some breakfast we set off, and it was great to see the sea in front of the hostel and the snow-capped mountains running around in the distance and to top it off…the sun!
The walk took us most of the day and was beautiful as it ran right around the peninsula through whale bone arched walkways, across the paths of seals that I first thought were road kill until they started growling as we walked past. There were certainly plenty of seals knocking about on the rocks, so we scrambled down the cliff to the beach and they weren’t too fussed by our presence. The views over the incredibly blue sea, green fields and snowy mountains were just what I expected, if not more, from New Zealand. We scrambled up some random hill on the beach and chilled there for a while, until the wind picked and continued with the route back to town through some fields, still with stunning views, and a bit of an autumny forest back to the hostel.
Freezing from the sun quickly losing its heat I grabbed some gloves and we took warmth in a coffee shop for a hot chocolate before food shopping and heading back to the hostel for the evening, where Jermaine, bless him, cooked bangers and mash for us. After we all just huddled under blankets chatting and playing jenga before calling it a night. It’s quite nice having a few days off the beer I have to say.
The following morning but Nellie and I were moving on and both of us heading to Nelson but with different coaches, we waved Nellie off and grabbed breakfast until it was time for me to hop on the bus outside the hostel to my next town on this whistle stop tour of New Zealand’s south island.