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New Zealand:

Kaikoura

The drive from Picton to Kaikoura

The drive from Picton to Kaikoura will make you ooh! and ahh! This is because every time you turn a corner in the road you are presented with another beautiful vista. As you drive through the Marlborough wine region you will leave behind the thick forest-covered snowcapped Alp-like Mountains of Picton, and encounter rolling brown grassy hills covered with vineyards reminiscent of the Napa Valley in Northern California. Soon you will encounter the easternmost coastline where you will be presented with the aqua blue Pacific Ocean and a rugged kelp covered shoreline.

Your first stop will be Kaikoura, which is a quaint fishing village on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand, 112 miles (180 kilometers) north of Christchurch. A rocky peninsula, covered in vibrant life, extends into the sea south from the town. It is a place where the mountains meet the sea.

Aqua blue Pacific Ocean

Take the walk from the campground through the little beach town of Kaikoura along its esplanade, to the tip of its isthmus. You will be surprised at what you will see. You will walk out on to a rocky point of the peninsula and as you look back you will experience views of the ocean town with its snowcapped mountain backdrop.

Upwelling currents bring an abundance of marine life from the depths of the ocean to Kaikoura's local waters. This profusion of life and nutrients attracts many sea creatures. Among them are whales, which where once viciously hunted, but nowadays you can view these magnificent beings up close and alive. Southern fur seals and dolphins also take advantage of the plentiful food supplies. Kaikoura's craggy seafront and tide pools are a great place to see rare and wonderful seabirds such as albatrosses, petrels, and Hutton's shearwaters. The native Maori people have known about the fertile waters for hundreds of years at Kaikoura. On hills overlooking the ocean, you can find remains of their ancient hillside fortifications.

While traveling south in the South Island of New Zealand, you must stop and appreciate all that Kaikoura can offer.

Kaikoura Video

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