A Travellerspoint blog

Feeling a bit like Attenborough

A seal colony, a cliff top walk and boring Blenheim


Poor old Blenheim. We spent an entire day there but we’re only going to spend one paragraph chatting about it. It isn’t all Blenheim’s fault and we did manage to do a food shop and use the free internet in the library. It has to be the world’s strictest library though with; an under 16's area that we got kicked out of (although there was a suspicious lack of signs showing this to be the case, probably just the librarian taking an instant disliking to Alex as most people do), no plugs available for public use (not that they were being used for anything else) and the internet being cut fifteen minutes before close (just brilliant). Having finished up in the library it was half two and after a bit of a look around at what there was to do we came across an historic village on the outskirts of town. After a quick glance at the village map, showing a pretty large place full of things like a vintage car museum, miniature railway, vintage farm machinery museum and a whole street-worth of historic village, we dived right in. As we wandered the empty lanes it quickly dawned on us that we were the only people there and that everything was closed. We spent about ten minutes looking at the exteriors and peering through windows before leaving Blenheim in defeat.


That night we parked up on a rocky outcrop not far from Kaikoura which looked really pretty. It wasn’t until the sun rose that we realised what a gorgeous place it actually was with the mountains rising sharply behind us, whilst we were surrounded on all other sides by the sea. Not only was the view magnificent we also discovered that we’d managed to end up parked in the middle of a seal colony and spotted some lazing on the rocks only metres from the camper. As if this wasn’t all enough we were bathed in brilliant sunshine and so we pulled out the camp chairs and ate breakfast, drinking in the views.


After quickly jump-starting a fellow travellers car we drove two minutes down the road where we found the heart of the seal colony. There, covering all the rocks we could see were a huge number of fur seals. Feeling a bit like David Attenborough we kept up a constant commentary to one another remarking on what they were doing in front of us.


After using up practically the entire of the camera’s memory card we moved on to the town of Kaikoura to go on the cliff-top walk that we’d heard was beautiful. We were feeling particularly fit and so decided to walk the long trek from the info centre. That turned out to be a bit of a mistake. It took just over an hour to get to the start of the walk and it was a boiling hot day and so puffing and panting we arrived at the seal colony that started the walk. Nevertheless we summed up our reserves and battled on clawing our way to the top of the cliffs inch by bloody inch. It was well worth the struggle though as the views from the cliffs were outstanding, encompassing the coast, the sea and the mountains in the distance. We also got to climb down to one of the sea level ledges where there was a steep limestone hummock that Alex just had to scale (naturally).

What felt like several days later (actually two hours) we arrived back at the campervan and though the temptation to collapse in a quivering heap was incredible, we strove to find our deepest reserves of energy and carried on to our next destination; Christchurch.

Rex’s Rules of the Road

  • There are some fantastic picnic areas to camp in between Wharanui and Kaikoura, some with seals included.
  • The road down this Northern most part of the Eastern coastline is gorgeous and well worth driving down.
  • Countdown have a travellers discount card which can come in handy. We saved 16% on this food shop.
  • Libraries are a great place to use the internet for free (although maybe steer clear of Blenheim library).

Posted by rexontheroad 18:18 Archived in New Zealand

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.