Monday, November 05, 2012

{New Zealand Aug 2012} Kaikoura

We had a whale of a time!

We stayed at the TOP 10 Holiday Parks while in Kaikoura.
The Whale Watch Center is directly behind the park so we thought it would be good if we were taking the earliest whale-watching tour. (No need to wake up too early!)

I had some reservations before our stay because a holiday park sounds like there is gonna be rowdy teenagers and 'not-too-friendly' people around.
Thank goodnessI was wrong. Very wrong.
The people I've met in the park must have been the friendliest throughout the entire trip.
Staff and guests alike.
Well, I did wish for a hole to appear when I saw our neighbours for the night though.
I'm sorry I judged by appearance but I did freak a little.
Five bikers in their 40s, 50s with their moustache and long hair and cool bike wear and their Harley.
I did a silent gasp and prayed under my breath "Please... don't let them be mean..."

They are not.
They are very friendly.
They smiled and said hello.
I flashed my signature sweet-girl smile that came so naturally and did my meek wave back.
I was tempted to ask if they could take me on a ride on their Harley.
The husband wouldn't have agreed.

We met some feathery friends on our way to dinner (An awesome Indonesian restaurant across the road. They have curry!! And satay! And the sticky date loaf I so love.)

We booked the earliest whale-watching tour for the next morning. Because we are staying in the holiday park, we got a discount on the tickets. We were told that there was a 'fast passage' through to the centre from the holiday park but we thought we could go the proper way since we wanted to get breakfast from the town centre.
Bad move.
The 'proper' way from the park to the centre would take slightly more than 1 km, and we didn't have enough time.
We walked back to the holiday park again and took the 'special access' instead.
That took us only two minutes.

That 'special access' is in the photo below. Go figure. ;)
I felt extra adventurous taking the 'special access' cuz we had to walk across the railway tracks as well. Woohoo!

We collected our boarding pass at 1030 but the tour briefing won't start till 11. That gave us time to return to our room (our little 'house') to rest.

The tour

The sea was rather rough on the day of the tour.
We waited for a long while and they had to keep 'listening' out for the whales like this:

It was a long long while before a fellow tourist spotted a whale and this was all I saw.. via the zoom lens.

I was a tad disappointed.
I really thought the whales would look like this in water:

I tried my best to capture whatever I could on the camera.

And when I was fiddling around. switching between the 'video' and 'auto' mode, the whale decided to say goodbye.
And I missed that grand tail flip moment.

They zoomed us back to land.
This is no joke.

We walked around the town centre after.
And as with all our trips, stopped for afternoon tea.

They say you have to eat crayfish in Kaikoura.
So we did.
This plate alone costs us >SGD60.

There is a 'Singapore Seafood Curry' on the menu.
Of course we had to try.

This "most expensive meal we ever had since our dating days 12 years ago" ended our day.
And our stay in lovely Kaikoura.

More of the trip here:
{New Zealand Aug 2012} Setting foot on New Zealand
{New Zealand Aug 2012} Geraldine, Lake Tekapo
{New Zealand Aug 2012} Lake Tekapo in Snow
{New Zealand Aug 2012} Mount Cook. Just a quick one.
{New Zealand Aug 2012} Queenstown
{New Zealand Aug 2012} Arrowtown
{New Zealand Aug 2012} Tarras
{New Zealand Aug 2012} Wanaka
{New Zealand Aug 2012} Fox Glacier
{New Zealand Aug 2012} The scary ride
{New Zealand Aug 2012} The lesson from a seal
{New Zealand Aug 2012} International Antarctic Centre 

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