Day 1 in Kaikoura
We're currently sitting in our hostel 'The Fish Tank' in Kaikoura after a big day of walking and animal viewing!
On the drive into Kaikoura we saw a pod of dusky dolphins (the ones we're swimming with tomorrow morning), there must have been about 200 of them, NO JOKE. They were all jumping out of the water and flipping, just being very acrobatic! Unfortunately we didn't get any pictures because we were driving in on the bus and they wouldn't of come out very well.
We arrived at about 10am and went for a 'big breakfast' in the town, the weather has been a bit drizzly, but still nice an mild so we didn't care!
After our breakfast we walked 5km along the coast toward the seal colony, we've got some great pictures of the seals, check out Facebook for the full album, but I've included some of our favourites.
After a nice wander around, we started to walk back along the coast back to Kaikoura. We stopped along the way at the 'Famous Kaikoura Crayfish BBQ', (a shack on the side of the road) for a nice bowl of their fresh seafood chowder which was great. Best meal from a shack I've ever had.
We have our dolphin swim at 9am tomorrow, and it lasts about 3.5 hours, we can't wait, especially as the forecast for tomorrow is supposed to be great!
Day 2 in Kaikoura
We arrived at the center at 8.30am where we received a 20 minute briefing on what you can/can't do when swimming with the dolphins, along with some tips on how to bring out the most of the dolphins playful nature, including singing through our snorkels and swimming round in circles.
After the briefing, we were then geared up into our wetsuits and given snorkels, flippers etc. It was then a five minute bus drive to the dock where we got on the boat.
The Kaikoura coast line was simply stunning! Crystal blue sea surrounded by snow capped mountains, what a perfect place to make some dolphin friends!
After about 30 minutes on the boat we came across a huge pod of dolphins, on closer inspection we could see there was around 200 dusksy dophins so we grabed our snorkels and jumped in the water. As soon as we were in the water we started singing through our snorkels and swimming in circles and before we knew it we were surrounded by dolphins!
They swam round us in circles and showed of their supurb acrobatic skills. Neither of us could believe how close the dolpins got to us, even brushing against our arms and legs at some points. We stayed in water for around an hour and I say without doubt it was one of the incredible hours of my life!
The guys at Dolphin Encounter say "The dusky dolphins inhabit the coastal waters off Kaikoura all year round, making Kaikoura a unique place in the world where wild dolphins can be encountered every day. It is this fact that sets our operation apart; our success rate of swimming with dolphins is second to none."
Once back on the boat we were given the chance to warm up with a nice hot chocolate before following the dolphins round for another hour, which gave us the chance to take lots of video footage (internet speed is really slow here so you'll have to wait for the videos).
Highs of Kaikoura - great seafood, good walks, dolphin swim, seal colony, great scenery.
Lows - bad weather on day 1, it didn't 'dampen' our spirits though (see what I did there?)