7am starts are never fun. And this one was no different. Especially as our new bus driver decided to ramble on about the same thing for 30 minutes, not allowing anyone any hope of sleeping.
It did mean we got to Kaikoura at 11.30pm (so the time I would've liked to wake up) in order to head out at 12.45pm for our whale watching tour. Buying another fleece in Christchurch was probably one of the best decisions I made because as soon as we were on the water, it was absolutely freezing outside of the boat!
I was a bit hesitant on the boat, remembering how sea sick I got in Cairns, but I prepared much better this time and managed to not feel too rough. This meant I could really enjoy the 2 ½ hour trip where we saw a sperm whale twice, seals and 2 orcas!
From the boat it didn't look like the sperm whale was that big, but after looking at the pictures the helicopter took of it during the day, we were almost grateful we didn't realise how big it was compared to our boat!
The orcas were very exciting, even for the crew as they are quite rare to see. The fact that we got to see a baby one as well was apparently unheard of, so we were very lucky during our trip!!
Once back on stable land we got some chips whilst I face-timed my family in Dallas, who were showing me my dad's new apartment. Even though I was travelling myself, seeing the apartment with skyscrapers outside made me incredibly jealous - so I'll definitely be heading out there soon!
After relaxing back at the hostel (which, by the way, has the worst wifi ever) we went to get some seafood for dinner. We ended up seeing some Brits from our current bus and eating with them as it meant having our first group dinner since Queenstown, which was a nice change.
We spent the rest of the evening giving them tips and stories from our kiwi experience as they had just started theirs in Christchurch (I definitely wouldn't recommend this as the way back up is quite quiet so it's not as fun at the start of the trip).
I then decided to be sensible and had a relatively early night after packing for our dolphin swimming encounter in the morning.