Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Whale watching

This morning we went to pick up our hire car. They gave us a Hyundai Sonata. We ended up referring to it as the gutless wonder. But it got us everywhere we needed to go so I guess it was okay. Next time though, I'm going to insist on a better car.

We then drove to Kaikoura, about three hours away, to go on a whale watching cruise. At first we thought we might not get to go, because the weather was pretty bad, but they sent us out anyway, making sure we had all taken motion sickness tablets. The swell was 1 - 2 metres, so it was pretty rough out there. I have never had motion sickness in my life but the boy suffers terribly and I was quite worried that he'd spend the entire time out the back throwing up. Luckily the ginger tablets and Kwells he took did the trick, and he was fine.

This is the beach at Kaikoura. You can see the weather isn't very nice.
This is a Sperm Whale poking his head out of the water to look at us. It was quite amazing and our nature guide said they rarely do that so we felt quite special.
This is one of the whales showing us his magnificent tail as he headed back under the water. These whales were about 18 - 20 metres in length, and were quite amazing to see. He was a long way off which is why his tail looks small. They're really not small at all.
This one is an albatross that lives in the area. They skim along the tops of the waves, looking for fish. The wingspan on this one was about 9 feet. I can't remember the exact name of it, I was really looking for more whales.
And here you can see the whale as he's about to head back under the water. For some reason my camera had a fit and stopped taking photos for 5 minutes, so I missed the close up view of his tail. But at least I saw it in real life, which is more important.
After the cruise (two and a half hours which seemed like about 20 minutes) we headed off to find our accommodation. The maps the car hire place gave us were practically useless so we did a lot of driving around randomly looking for places.

Eventually we found our accommodation. It was called the Hapuku Lodge and it was absolutely stunning. We stayed in one of the treehouses and Wow! is all I can say.

This is the view from the shower. Yes, the shower.
This is the view from the lounge, which had a fire as well. We did light the fire, even though it wasn't that cold, just because it seemed like we should.
We ate dinner in their restaurant and the food was delicious again. I would highly recommend Hapuku Lodge to anyone going to Kaikoura. We've already decided we need to go back at a different time in the year, probably winter, just for the stunning scenery, and to see more whales.


pughy said...

Hope to see some pictures of the whales enjoy your trip.

Hugs Ginger Jasper xx

Cyber-sibes said...

So beautiful! I took my sons on a whale watching cruise in 2000, we got to see a few too, and it was so exciting! Pictures just don't capture it, do they?