Before we left Kaikoura this morning, we went whale watching.  Neither of us have done this before, and we were really looking forward to it!  Of course there are no guarantees with nature, but this company gives you 80% of your money back if you don’t see a whale so it seems like they have a very high success rate.  We got on the boat around 8 am.  I was very impressed with the boats.  They are custom made for whale watching and extremely comfortable


Basically, they drive you out into the ocean to a point where they think a whale may be.  Then, the captain puts a long horn-shaped apparatus into the water so that he can hear the sounds of the whale.  The sperm whale is only on the surface of the water for about 10 minutes at a time before they dive back down into the ocean to hunt for food.  Typically, they don’t resurface until 45 minutes- 1 hour later.

The captain found one pretty quickly.  It was amazing to see such a giant animal.  Although we were only able to see about 10% of its body mass, we could see him breathing through the blowhole and watch him dive down into the water.

Side note: I promise that I won’t preach about this, but it makes me sick that there is still a problem with commercial whaling.

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We were able to see 2 different sperm whales and lots of dolphins.

Justin’s pictures came out much better than mine because his camera is much faster!!  We had a wonderful morning!

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After we got back from whale watching, we headed to Akaroa.  It was about a 3.5 hour drive.

When we got here, I was so glad that Justin chose to stop in Akaoroa!!  It is beautiful!  We are staying at a house called “Mumfords.”  It overlooks the incredible green water and is the front runner for my favorite place we have stayed so far.  It looks like a rustic cottage but has all the modern amenities that we need.  I wish we were here for more than one night!

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After calling home, we headed out to dinner.  We ate at a really cute place called The Little Bistro.  Justin had pork belly and lamb, and I had blue cheese pâté and monkfish with mussels and fennel.  We both really enjoyed them.

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Tomorrow we head out to Mt. Cook.  It is a more mountainous area of NZ with glaciers.

Hopefully, you can now appreciate what a packing challenge this trip was!!  We’re in the glaciers, jungle, beach, snow, and 5 star restaurants…..I don’t know how we did it!  I’ve got everything from a down jacket and wool shirt to bathing suits and flip flops to cocktail dresses and high heels!! Eventually, I’ll post everything that I packed!

XOXO Alyce

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