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Rich’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 24 Jan 2006

Location: South Island - Part 3, New Zealand

MapNot content with all the animal spotting we had done so far, we headed on to Kaikoura, where you can go whale watching. We went out on a beautifully sunny day, although it wasn't long before we were out in the open seas and the boat was rocking all over the shop. Our luck was really in because over the couple of hours we were out there, we saw 6 sperm whales close up, watching them on the surface before they dived down again. In the end we had to head back, even when there was more whales around to see - on the way back we spotted a pod of pilot whales which swam alongside and even under the boat. It was a really spectacular sight - even Sheena managed to see the whales after managing to pull her head up from the sick bag.
Next up was another of the great walks, the Abel Tasman. We booked up 3 campsites along the track and spent 4 days walking the trail, this time with all our stuff including cookers and tent, which made it quite tough. For the first 2 days it was fantastic: the sun was shining, the views and scenery were beautiful, and we got to have loads of breaks on the sandy beaches. The 3rd day started with us having to don all our wet weather gear and spend 30 minutes crossing an estuary with our boots off. It continued with us walking for another 4 hours in the torrential rain before getting to our campsite where we had to pitch the tent in the rain. We spent the rest of the day stuck in our tent, while the 'Rich' folk in the hut looked on at us in pity. The final day we forgot all about this as the sun was shining again and we had a few hours walk before getting a cruise back along the coast.
After this walk, we decided to have a more relaxing time in the Marlborough sound - but somehow we still managed to organise ourselves on a 3 day trip around the sounds, involving some walking on the Queen Charlotte track. The first day we went Kayaking around one of the bays before camping at a beach, but the next night we stayed at an eco resort where we finally got to chill out for a couple of days before we caught our ferry back to the North Island.