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