Thanks to Whale Watch which offered us a 50% discount, we did a boat cruise to see the sperm whales who live in Kaikoura all year around! They stay there because of a geological phenomenon: in Kaikoura there is a 1000 m deep canyon, a place where giant squids live and as it is the favourite food of sperm whales it is the perfect place for them to stay!
On our trip we met some albatross; you know these giant birds which wingspan can reach 3 to 4 metres!
When we reached the canyon, our captain tried to echo locate whales but it didn’t work… Instead, we found an orca! Those killer whales love seals, dolphins, sharks…and whales!!! They don’t really have predators!
Fortunately our captain didn’t give up and found a sperm whale! It was on the surface, breathing. They usually only stay for 15 minutes on the surface before diving for their food. They can live up to 90 years old and females and males live separately. At the age of 13, young males are forced to leave the female group! When they reach 50 years of age they can go back to the group!
“Our” whale stayed for 10 minutes on the surface and then showed us “the perfect shot”: it dived with a nice “tail finish”!!!
That was a really nice “wildlife” day that we ended up we seals pups in a waterfall!!!
But our passion for animals doesn’t mean we forget our values… and we did a great wine tasting tour to discover the Malbourough wine region!
This region is famous for its Sauvignon Blanc but we much more preferred their Riesling!!! In Blenheim we also did an “incredible encounter”!! We were at the supermarket and Liz recognize that we were French… and just for that she invited us for a drink! We discussed for more than two hours before leaving to go to Abel Tasman!
Abel Tasman is a “Great Walk” of 60 kilometres but we only did 45 in 2 days! We walked with our tent, mattresses, cooking equipment!!! It was a bit tough but the walk is easy and the landscapes are beautiful. We saw the Silver Fern, one of the NZ symbol! Maoris used this plant to find their way at night: the silver colour of the back of the fern was reflecting the moon light so they can see where to go!
We also had to cross a tidal bare foot… I guarantee you that the water was frozen… Fortunately we slept in our tent “in the outdoor kitchen” so we had a roof and stayed dry and warm!!!
We finished our visit of the South Island with the “Split Apple Rock”: a big round rock spit in almost 2 equal parts! The legend says that 2 Maori gods were fighting and they used their strength (or their power) to destroy it! Science says that water entered one split of the rock and when Earth entered a glacial era, the ice expended inside the rock broke in 2 parts!
After these 3 weeks on the South island, it is now time to go on the North island!!!