NZ 2012 – Video Compilation

Aug 30, 12 at 12:04 am

I thought it would be kind of waste not to make some videos along our journey in NZ so I actually got myself a tiny but powerful video camera – GoPro HD Hero. Armed with all the right accessories, I took quite a number of videos and here they are… some of them which I duly compiled for your viewing pleasure. All the videos are in full high-definition. Enjoy!

Part 1 – Journey from Christchurch to Tekapo. [Day 1 Story]

Part 2 – A view of Lake Tekapo, Church of Good Shepherd, Mount John Observatory and Astro Cafe. [Day 1 Story, Day 2 Story]

Part 3 – Journey from Pukaki to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park with gorgeous view of turquoise Lake Pukaki and the jaw-dropping scenery along the way. [Day 2 Story]

NZ 2012 – Day 12 – Hanmer Springs to Kaikoura to Christchurch

Aug 26, 12 at 11:55 pm

Click here for the NZ executive summary and other posts.

Day 12
Hanmer Springs to Kaikoura to Christchurch

Hanmer Springs - Kaikoura - Christchurch

Point A (Starting point) = Hanmer Springs
Point B = Kaikoura
Point C = Christchurch

*

It was a really chilly day with the sky, all cloudy and gloomy. We hit the road as early as possible as we had booked a boat tour for whale watching at Kaikoura.

The journey took about 1.5 hours. It was raining by the time we reached Kaikoura and ultimately, the Whale Watch where we signed up for the whale watch tour. The Whale Watch office sits beautifully by Kaikoura coast and it also serves as one of the train stops for Coastal Pacific line, operated by KiwiRail Scenic Journeys.

The Kaikoura Peninsula extends into the sea south of the town, and the resulting upwelling currents bring an abundance of marine life from the depths of the nearby Hikurangi Trench. The town owes its origin to this effect, since it developed as a centre for the whaling industry. The name ‘Kaikoura’ translates to ‘meal of crayfish’ (‘kai’- food/meal, ‘koura’ – crayfish) and the crayfish industry still plays a role in the economy of the region. However Kaikoura has now become a popular tourist destination, mainly for whale watching (the Sperm Whale watching is perhaps the best and most developed in the world) and swimming with or near dolphins. There is also a large and readily observed colony of Southern Fur Seals at the eastern edge of the town. At low tide, better viewing of the seals can be had as the ocean gives way to a rocky base which is easily navigable by foot for quite some distance.

When we first arrived, we were taken aback by the meter high waves crashing violently to the shore. The sea looked really choppy and we were not sure if we should continued with the tour. While waiting up, we were constantly be informed of the sea condition and Whale Watch did a magnificent job by giving us appropriate warning about getting seasick due to the rough seas. One of our friends decided to sit back as he was quite prone to seasickness. Although we had paid for the tour before we came to NZ, they still gladly refunded us the full amount. As for my friend, he ended up wandering around Kaikoura town on its own while we were up in the high sea.

The three of us decided to continue with the tour and bought a pack of non-drowsy seasick pills for use later. We were given a short briefing and thereafter, we were chauffeured by bus to the jetty.

Whale Watch @ Kaikoura

NZ 2012 – Day 11 – Greymouth to Hanmer Springs

Aug 26, 12 at 10:14 pm

Click here for the NZ executive summary and other posts.

Day 11
Greymouth to Hanmer Springs

Greymouth - Punakaiki - Hanmer Springs
Point A (Starting point) = Greymouth
Point B = Punakaiki
Point C = Hanmer Springs

*

2 more nights left until our scheduled flight back to reality. After our epic glacier hike, it was time to seek something different again.

Greymouth
Coastal road

Punakaiki Pancake Rocks & Blowholes