Wednesday, 7 April 2010

The Kaikoura Coast Track

Just back from our first 3 day walking track. I read the blog of Robb, an American in the North Island, who writes a lot about tramping in this beautiful country. Tramping is in his blood and he writes about it in a poetic way. I am a bit of a wuzz so I haven't reached that state yet.
On Saturday my husband, my American friend Elizabeth and moi, left for Kaikoura to spend a day in one of my favourite places. It is 2 1/2 hours drive North of Christchurch.
Kaikoura is famous for whale watching. Whales can be seen about 20 km of shore. About 15 km of shore the sea floor dives to depths of over 1000 metres and also because of lots of plankton in the ocean, there is an abundance of sealife at the coast of Kaikoura.
We first walked along the cafe's and had a nice lunch and than we strolled along the Kaikoura Peninsula over the rocks where many seals bask in the sun. As you can see on the pictures below we had a marvellous sunny day so we basked a bit in the sun as well.

Hypnotised by the sun painting crystals on a turquoise sheet
Hypnotised by the lulleby of the waves crushing against the shore
I loose myself
I loose myself and become one with with the elements of a paradise called
Aotearoa/ New Zealand

Loaded with energy we went of to the Staging post, a sheep station 50 km South of Kaikoura towards Christchurch again. We stayed the night there after we roamed around the buidings and collection of old farm machinery. We had our own room with bunk beds and in the little lounch we bumped into the others who were all experienced trampers.

The following morning we were dropped of by the van, 9 km from the staging post at the beginning of the track. The clouds started to open up and droplets were attracted to us as beas to honey. We went up through the forest to the top and raindrops multiplied like mad. The magnificent views were completely covered with clouds and we were happy to reach the shelter of the skull peak day hut. What I got out of it is that a warm cup of tea tasted here like heaven. We arrived at our second accomodation and learned that our jackets and shoes didn't pass the test of being weather proof.
Luckily we brought hats. Just before we left I noticed we didn't have any warm hats at home. I found an orange one my brother gave me,a Dutch iceskating hat and I bought one at the $2 dollar shop. That one was the best buy of the year. It was the only piece of clothing which kept dry inside.We were warmly welcomed at our accommodation with seaview, with a glas of selfmade lemonade and spend the rest of the afternoon around the fire playing games, reading and chatting. Oh and the warm shower was wonderful.

The second day was great. No rain. We started with a 2 hour walk along the beach (see right picture) in mull sand were your feet left deep inprints.  But I enjoyed it and laughed when William nearly stumbled into a seal. Than we cruised through a beautiful forest where we were followed for a long time by a black fantail who fluttered before our eyes. At the end of this great day we arrived at the farm were we spend the night in our own private gorgous little cottage. As you can see on the picture because of the pittoresk windows around half of the cottage, we could see the  paddock with fruit trees and sheep.
The third and last day we left at 8.30 am. I woke up being very dizzy and nasea. Very weird. It slowly dissappeared during the walk.
The first hour as we climbed up we stil had great views over the sea and than....yes rain again. We slowly conquered the sometimes steep slopes towards the peak at the 650 mtrs high mount Wilson. Drizzle turned into pouring rain but it wasn't as cold as on the first day. On arrival we took a Brtitish couple with us to Christchurch as they had to catch a plane to Auckland where they lived.

and after unpacking at home I stretched out like the sealion above. Again waking up a bit dizzy and unwell but I can relax and blog today.


  1. Hi Marja!

    I so envy you.

    And I need some of that same type of R&R.

    Thanks for the views!


  2. leuke tijd als ik alles zo lees, alleen die muts van het voetballen klopt niet. het is een muts voor het schaatsen, wij hollanders zijn ook schaatsers en daar hoort een oranje unox-muts bij.
    jammer dat ik geen deel kon uitmaken van de groep lopers maar wie weet lopen we mijn komende reis nog wel een paar tracks.
    tot dan!

  3. This looks to have been lots of fun even with constant rain. I have walked around South Bay to Seal colony but not your energetic walk.
    Hope you feeling better now.

  4. What amazing and beautiful pictures.
    Such a wonderful time you must have had!

    Lovely post, thank you for sharing, Marja.

    Margie :)

  5. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I would like to do one of these treks but I doubt my wife would like to go on anything longer than an hour. we have been to Kaikoura and really enjoyed the juxtaposition of mountains and sea. Beautiful.

  6. Kia ora Marja,
    What a great experience! In New Zealand bush rain is just part of the day really, if it doesn't rain consider yourself fortunate. Have a good rain jacket and disposition. It is so cool to read of your exploits and tramp along with you when I cannot. I appreciate your kind words about my place. I miss the mountains more than I can explain and after tommorow can focus on getting back to them.
    I wonder if your symptoms were not a bit of dehydration? It is easy, particularly when it is chilly or raining to not drink enough fluid. In any case hope you are on the mend now my friend. Thanks for your support. Kia kaha Marja.

  7. What a wonderful trip you made. In 2005 we stayed at a holiday park at Kaikoura. Where we went whale watching on one of the tourist boats. We saw three spermwhales. It was very impressive. I am glad we saw it.

  8. Hi suzan yes we are very blessed to live here and get lots of R&R

    Bert ik zal het gauw veranderen. Natuurlijk is dat een schaats muts. Hij heeft goed werk gedaan
    Ik zal een paar mooie tracks uitzoeken voor de vakantie

    I am feeling lots better thanks glennis

    Margie yes we had an amazing time

  9. LGS NZ has the most beautiful tracks. Maybe one day

    Thaks robb I might buy a better jacket. The rain is stil a hard one for me but everything else was amazing. You could be right about the dehydration because my bottle was nearly full when we arrived as I wasn't thirsty in the colder weather. Normally it is always empty. But the others didn't drink much either. They might not have perspirated as much.

    Yes I went whale watching too years ago. Wonderful until I was very seasick.

  10. great pics and thanks for sharing... :)

  11. Something about New Zealand really touches my soul, it has a rare beauty I just don't see other places having.

    Totally awesome pictures and I am envious of the adventure you and your friends had.

  12. Marja, isn't New Zealand a wonderful place for tramping and sightseeing.
    I enjoyed looking at the photos and reading about your adverture as they brought back lots of lovely memories.

    Your storytelling is very amusing and interesting too. I loved the line:
    "The clouds started to open up and droplets were attracted to us as bees to honey."

    Hope you are well now and look forward to reading about your next adventure.

    Peggy xxx

  13. Beautiful, beautiful images and I can only dream to go there one day. Have a blessed weekend

  14. What a lovely post Marja. I feel quite homesick.

  15. Wonderful photos and thanks for the narrative. I hope we can get that way again soon.

  16. That first picture is stunning - it captures the feeling of the Kaikoura landscape perfectly. The glittering sea. I too love the area - just beautiful - and so uplifting for the soul. Love your poem too. Aren't we lucky to live here? ;o)

  17. Hi Marja,
    We are off there - a group of 10 - to walk the track over Labour weekend. A few years after your trip and only doing two nights but really looking forward to it. I smiled at your " picture" of the orange hat. I suspect our clothes may be tested by rain this weekend.

    1. Nice to see you here Wendy. It is a nice track Walking on the beach is a bit hard work but it was all worth it.
      The farm were you stay is really great Have a good walk. I hope the weather will be ok


Thank you for your comment