It’s been a damp drizzly day since we broke camp at Blenheim. Getting away was a bit of a task as there was a queue for the dump point and water tap at the race track but we eventually got underway. Today’s route was to take us along the scenic Kaikoura Coast where the State Highway and the railway run somewhat parallel and at times only meters away from the sea.
The first stop of the day was to be the Grassmere salt lakes where man made lakes are flooded with sea water and then left for the sun to evaporate all of the water. The salt is then harvested and processed. Two of our group turned off the state highway down to the works whereas the other two went past the lakes down a side road where the only photo opportunity was from the roof of the motorhome.
The next port of call was Ohau Point where there is a beautiful waterfall and NZ native Fur Seals, Kekeno in Maori. In the breeding season seals travel up the river about a kilometre and give birth leaving their pups to frolic under the waterfall while the mothers go back to sea to feed. As it is late in the season the pups had all been weaned and gone down to the sea where there were dozens of seals lying around on the rocks. These seals were nearly decimated back in the 19th century for their fur and meat but a hunting ban was put in place in 1894 to protect the species. Even today they are only about 20% of the population a century ago. A 10 minute walk took us through some native bush to view the waterfall which dropped about 30-40 meters into a deep pool of crystal clear water.
Kaikoura being famous for it’s Crayfish (Lobsters) and sea food it was only fitting that we stopped at one of the wayside stalls to check out the prices. The cheapest at $46 was snapped up by Geoff and Pauline but the rest of us decided it was a bit too expensive for our budgets.Shame but that’s life.
By the time we reached the Kaikoura Trotting club site it was going to be a late lunch as there were a few rumbling tummies among us. Unfortunately the weather situation hasn’t improved and it looks like being a damp afternoon.