I have been in New Zealand for nearly two weeks and have whizzed round the South Island on the Kiwi Experience bus. My first three nights were spent in Christchurch where I flew into from Melbourne. Very nice little city, very quiet. I arrived late Tuesday night and was staying in Base Backpackers on Cathedral Square. Immediately bumped into 4 people I had met in Oz.
I spent my time in Christchurch visiting the History Museum, learning about the Maori history, walking through the Botanical gardens, on a gondala that takes you to the top of the Port Hills to witness amazing views of Christchurch and it's surroundings.
On Friday 9th of May I boarded the Kiwi Experience bus for the first time and we drove from Christchurch to Kiakoura. We were there by 12.30 which is a refreshing change from the Oz bus because we never had a journey shorter than 4 hours. Kaikoura means to 'eat crayfish' as the crayfish industry was so big here. But now the biggest attraction is the marine wildlife. Just 80 Kilometres from the shore the sea bed drops to depths of about 3000 metres bringing and abundance of marine life such as Sperm Whales, Dusky and Bottle nose Dolphins and Southern Fur Seals. A group of us from the bus did the whale watching which was amazing. I have always wanted to go whale watching and it was everything I expected and more. The sperm whales we saw were all males, the waters around here are too cold for the females and calves but we saw four fully grown males the largest being eighteen metres in length. The whales only surface for about 5 - 10 minutes before diving back into the depths of the water. It's when they dive you need to be quick with your camera to snap the money shot of their tales in the air. It was such a beautiful experience and I was on a high for the rest of the day. I had a whale of a time.